Birmingham internationally recognised for foreign investment schemes

City has “the world’s most innovative incentives for investors.”

Birmingham is one of the world’s most creative locations when it comes to securing foreign investment, according to a new global report.

The IPA Innovation Awards, from influential industry title fDi magazine, listed the most unique and groundbreaking investment promotion techniques from locations across the world.

Birmingham was the only UK destination to win commendations in three separate categories – and topped the global rankings for the support it offers companies looking to create new jobs in the city.

It won praise for the pilot scheme of its Mobile Investment Fund (MIF), which can provide grants to investors based on the amount of jobs they could create in the city. The MIF was devised by Birmingham City Council and inward investment programme Business Birmingham to attract foreign companies that may not otherwise come to the city.

fDi magazine praised Birmingham’s ‘particular eye for supporting job creation’ and described the MIF as ‘one of the UK’s most flexible investor funding schemes’.

Commenting on the report, Sir Albert Bore, Leader of Birmingham City Council, said: “Birmingham has a single-minded approach to attracting foreign companies that will create and preserve local jobs. The support we can offer businesses is specifically tailored to their needs, helping us to unlock private sector investment that may have gone elsewhere.

“The race for inward investment is incredibly competitive, but Birmingham has been recognised by industry experts as holding its own against our international rivals.”

Birmingham’s success follows the news that Deutsche Bank will be creating 1,000 new jobs in the city.

Neil Rami, Chief Executive of Marketing Birmingham – which operates Business Birmingham – added: “The comprehensive range of incentives we offer investors is a powerful marketing tool, which demonstrates that Birmingham is serious about becoming an international business destination.

“Financial incentives are a small part of what the city does to assist potential investors. Our Business Catalyst programme provides free or discounted services and space from our partners – while the city’s six economic zones offer relaxed planning and rates relief. This support is drawn from organisations across Birmingham, demonstrating the value of the entire business community working to attract inward investment here.”

The report singled out Birmingham in two other categories – SME support and the aftercare offered to business once they have decided to invest. The SME support available in Birmingham includes SME Fast Track, a free scheme aimed at helping companies in Birmingham and the Black Country, which is run by Business Birmingham and financed by the European Regional Development Fund.