Published date 16 June 2022

UK inward investment projects return to growth

UK inward investment projects return to growth — as investors’ perceptions of the UK improve strongly.

The Department for International Trade (DIT) and EY have stated that inward investments into the UK rose by 1.8% in 2021, with Bristol praised as having performed strongly with a 30% increase on 2019.

After the 13% decline in foreign direct investment (FDI) projects across Europe in 2020, the market returned to growth in 2021, with project numbers rising by 5.4% to 5,877.

The UK remains second in the European league table for FDI projects (993), whilst the stand-out performer France retained the top spot (1,222). The UK’s total FDI employment creation of 60, 372 was the highest in Europe — 68 average jobs per project topped Germany’s 48 and France’s 38. UK secured a market-leading 20.3% share of the new (as opposed to expansion) projects in Europe — its best showing for a decade.

2020 saw a major shift in the UK’s regional FDI landscape. The main gainers were the South West — 30% up on 2019 driven by Bristol — and the West Midlands and Northern Ireland — both up around one-fifth.

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