Level of foreign direct investment into Liverpool remains flat, study reveals

According to the latest EY 2018 UK Attractiveness Survey, Liverpool saw eight FDIs in 2018, one less than the previous year and well behind Manchester on 37. Tony McDonough reports

Liverpool city centre
Liverpool is still way behind Manchester for foreign direct investment. Picture by Tony McDonough

 

Foreign direct investment (FDI) into Liverpool remains flat with the number of FDIs in 2018 falling slightly compared to 2017.

According to the latest EY 2018 UK Attractiveness Survey, Liverpool saw eight FDIs in 2018, one less than the previous year. In contrast, Manchester welcomed 37 FDIs during the year although this was also down from 43 in 2017.

Manchester is now the best performing UK city, apart from London for FDI projects, and was the only North West location to make it into the national top 10 and it secured 53% of all FDIs into the North West.

Liverpool was the second-biggest recipient in the region with eight FDIs while Ellesmere Port, Warrington, Bolton, Salford and Stockport all secured two projects each.The number of jobs created by investments in the North West stood at 1,390.

Read more: Liverpool and Manchester to work together more closely

The North West held the fifth-largest number of projects in the UK (2017: third), behind London (458), Scotland (94), the South East (89), and the West Midlands (83). The two leading sectors in the region in 2018 were digital (15 projects) and business services (12).

These were the leading two sectors for the UK as a whole and together they accounted for 39% of investment into the North West but 45% of investment into the UK.

UK remains top destination for foreign direct investment in Europe, but challenges mount as Brexit casts a shadow The UK remained the number one destination for foreign direct investment (FDI) in Europe in 2018, ahead of Germany and France, with 1,054 projects, its third-highest number of FDI projects in 20 years.

However, this was a 13% drop in FDI projects compared to 2017 (1,205 projects). The UK’s share of FDI projects secured in Europe fell very slightly from 18% in 2017 to 17% in 2018. While overall FDI into Europe fell by 4% year-on-year, ending a five-year period during which Europe’s annual project numbers increased continuously.

Bob Ward, managing partner for EY in the North West, said: “While it’s great news that Manchester’s inward investment figures are ahead of all other cities outside London, the fact that it was home to more than half of all investments in the region, and was the only North West location to pass double digits is a cause for some concern.

“This shift of investment to larger cities is a UK-wide trend as foreign investors look to place ‘safe bets’ amid a general climate of political and economic uncertainty. But investment is still coming into the regions and I’d like to see steps taken to help ensure more of an equitable distribution of investment throughout the North West.”

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