Inward investment on the increase

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Invest in Cornwall has seen an increase in the number of businesses relocating into Cornwall.  Hosted by Cornwall Development Company and funded by Cornwall Council and European Regional Development Funding, the Invest in Cornwall teams proactively promote Cornwall as a place for business both within the UK and overseas. 2013/14 saw 14 new investments, generating 120 new jobs.

Like many other areas in the South West, the majority of investment into Cornwall comes from elsewhere within the UK. The most significant change in inward investment in recent years has been the increase in high growth businesses seeking to relocate, a move away from the lifestyle orientated companies that Cornwall has traditionally attracted in the past.

This partially reflects the investment and development of key assets such as Aerohub at Newquay Cornwall Airport and the focus on marine renewables which has seen an increase of companies from these sectors looking to set up in Cornwall to benefit from these unique, world class assets.

Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) into Cornwall however remains small. The UK Trade and Investment’s (UKTI) annual report, recently reported five investments into Cornwall, including acquisitions. While FDI trends are unlikely to change significantly in the coming years, it is anticipated there will be a slight increase in FDI as a result of the international interest in Aerohub (where there are enquiries from the Middle East, EU and North America) and marine renewable device developers looking to access FaB test and Wave Hub.

Recent investors have also been attracted to the innovation centres and linkage to the Universities. The investment in the knowledge bases represented by Falmouth, Exeter and Plymouth Universities, has also helped to increase the attractiveness of Cornwall as a business location. An example of this is the new Games Development Course and appointment of Professor Tanya Krzywinska, saw the relocation of gaming company Antimatters from London, which has grown to 10 employees in 12 months.

Nick Blandford, Head of Business & Skills at Cornwall Development Company commented: “It’s encouraging to see that inward investment levels are on the increase, reflecting the current optimism in the global economy. 2010 to 2012 were challenging times. Inward investment is essential to help support the local economy’s growth and encourage skilled employment in Cornwall. The current inward investment pipeline suggests that 2014 will continue to see further successes.”