West Midlands tops foreign direct investment outside London

West Midlands foreign direct investment Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands; Margot James, Executive Chair of WMG; Warren Harris, CEO of Tata Technologies and Ian Brookfield, Leader of Wolverhampton City Council.

The West Midlands is the top region for foreign direct investment outside of London, government data has shown.

Throughout 2022-2023, a total of 181 projects received overseas capital in the West Midlands out of 1,654 across the whole UK.

In the same period, 8,252 jobs were generated as a result of foreign direct investment despite an overall reduction of the rest of the UK.

The data, published by the Department for Business and Trade, shows that the West Midlands attracted more foreign direct investment (FDI) than Scotland and Wales combined.

The West Midlands tech sector, valued at £15bn, plays a key role in the region’s economy. It is forecasted to add £2.7bn value to the UK economy by 2025 and has attracted overseas tech firms such as Tata Technologies, an Indian multinational product engineering firm.

Warren Harris, CEO of Tata Technologies, said: “The West Midlands holds great significance for Tata Technologies, serving as our second home and playing a pivotal role in realising our growth aspirations.”

Tata’s Leamington Spa base is its biggest apart from India, with Harris citing the region’s “manufacturing heritage”, “industry 4,0 capabilities” and “abundant STEM talent”. It is currently in the process of adding over 300 people to the location.

“Despite the wave of shocks that have faced the global economy over the last year, these latest FDI figures are a reminder that investment appetite in the West Midlands remains extremely strong,” said Matt Hammond, chair of the West Midlands Growth Company.

Most of the FDI came from India, which surpassed the US as the leader this year.

London still attracted significantly more foreign investment than anywhere else in the UK, with capital going into 528 projects.

Richard Bate, CTO at Goldilock, said: “Wolverhampton Science Park was key to our decision of where to base the business, providing us with a state-of-the-art R&D and production facility, as well as proximity to cyber skills.”

Read more: UKTN’s Regional Tech Report on the West Midlands