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Black Country and Staffordshire the place to be for big business

Staffordshire | News | Published:

The Black Country and Staffordshire have been ranked among the most promising investment locations in Europe, according to a new study.

Both areas have been highly rated by FDi magazine, a Financial Times publication in a move which has been welcomed by business bosses.

The magazine has placed Walsall seventh out of 468 European cities and regions for business friendliness in the small city category, appearing above Oxford, Geneva in Switzerland and Skopje in Macedonia.

Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent was ranked 20th overall.

In a further boost to the region, the Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Local Enterprise Partnership, which brings business and council bosses together to boost the economy, has also been praised for its strategy in bringing in foreign investment – with it ranked the third best in the country.

The Black Country's Local Enterprise Partnership was placed 10th with officials recognising their expertise in drawing finance, investment and property development in the area.

Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire also came in seventh for economic potential in the small European regions category, and eighth in small European regions overall.

Staffordshire County Councillor Mark Winnington, cabinet member for economy and infrastructure, said it was great news for the county and proved Staffordshire had huge potential as an area for investment and growth.

He added: "Access to a skilled workforce and being located right on the UK's major transport network makes us a prime location for new businesses looking to set up. And, our growth plans predict the creation of over 11,000 high quality jobs over the next few years."

Walsall's regeneration chief, Councillor Adrian Andrew said it was a 'fantastic achievement'. "Over £40m of new investments have been generated in Walsall which is largely as a result of us working strategically and very closely with investors, supporting them through the planning process and identifying employment opportunities for local people," he added.

And Wayne Langford, head of Invest Black Country, added: "These awards, and the fact that FDI has increased by 15 per cent over the last year into the Black Country is evidence that it is working."

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