South Yorkshire becomes UK’s first Investment Zone

South Yorkshire Investment Zone Image credit: Kirsty O'Connor/ HM Treasury

Chancellor Jeremy Hunt has revealed the country’s first Investment Zone as South Yorkshire, which will focus on advanced manufacturing.

South Yorkshire is set to receive more than £80m in funds for research and development (R&D) projects.

The initiative is predicted to create 8,000 jobs and generate £1.2bn in private funding before 2030 across Sheffield, Rotherham, Doncaster and Barnsley.

Plans for 12 UK investment zones based around universities were unveiled by Hunt in March. The tech sector broadly welcomed it as a promising move.

Support for the funding will come from Boeing, Spirit AeroSystems and the University of Sheffield’s Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre.

Dr Annette Bramley, director of the N8 Research Partnership, said that Investment Zones will only succeed if “the R&D expertise of universities are at their heart”.

“Cross-sector collaboration between academia and industry is vital in the UK becoming a leader in the technologies of the future while simultaneously creating economically robust communities across the country.”

Business and Trade Secretary Kemi Badenoch said: “Boeing and its partners’ investment in the new Investment Zone is a major vote of confidence in our world-leading aerospace sector and adds to the nearly £400 million of government-backed funding for aerospace projects we’ve announced in 2023 alone.”

The South Yorkshire Investment Zone accompanies two Scottish investment zones in the Glasgow City Region and North East of Scotland.

More Investment Zones are being discussed for Wales and Northern Ireland.