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Fast-growing, world-class tech scene boosts inward investment in West of England region, with latest figures showing Invest Bristol & Bath has created more than 1,200 jobs – JUST EAT says its new Bristol base allows it to access region’s “dynamic talent pool” as it plans to recruit up to 100 staff by end of next year
Inward investment agency Invest Bristol & Bath has helped to create more than 1,200 jobs in the West of England region since its inception, new figures show, as its fast-growing, vibrant tech cluster continues to draw in major global players.
Matthew Cross, head of inward investment at Invest Bristol & Bath, which was established in January 2013, said the region’s key sector strengths in high tech, creative and digital, aerospace and advanced engineering, and low carbon are attracting attention from national and international businesses.
Key inward investment successes achieved by Invest Bristol & Bath include the attraction of Somo, the world’s largest independent mobile solutions company,Huawei, the Chinese telecoms giant, and JUST EAT, the leading online takeaway service, into the region.
Carlos Morgado, CTO of JUST EAT, said: “Technology is core to the success of our business. To keep growing we need to continue hiring top-quality technology talent.
“Bristol is at the centre of a cluster of technology companies and world-class universities with great tech talent. Our new base in Bristol allows us to access the South West’s dynamic talent pool and support JUST EAT’s continuing growth and innovation.
“We opened our Bristol office in July with the intent of hiring up to 20 developers and software engineers by the end of 2014. We are well on track to exceeding that and have plans to recruit up to 100 staff by the end of next year.”
Mr Cross added: “Bristol and Bath’s high tech industry and the South West’s aerospace sector were among only 12 UK economic clusters to be highlighted as ‘globally-significant’ and ‘fast-growing’ in an influential Centre for Cities /McKinsey & Company report earlier this year. In fact, the region’s tech cluster was the only one of its kind in the UK outside London to be categorised in this way, which illustrates its international significance.
“The Bristol and Bath area sits at the heart of the South West of England’s powerhouse aerospace cluster, the largest in Europe, and the region is home to major global business players such as Aardman Animations, AMDOCS, Airbus, Toshiba and Hewlett Packard. Businesses investing in the region are reaping the rewards of being located in an area which benefits from having a high calibre skills base centred on these thriving industries, as well as an excellent quality of life, strong transport links to London, but costs that are lower than those associated with being based in the Capital.
“Meanwhile, Bristol’s European Green Capital award for 2015 gives the region an excellent opportunity to attract investment associated with a sector growing at an exceptional rate.”
Invest Bristol & Bath supports foreign direct investment, UK national companies and those companies already in the region as they grow and expand with hands on advice and intelligence, for example introductions to key local influencers, support in finding a suitable property and recruitment-related advice. The Invest Bristol & Bath team also undertakes trade missions to global markets as part of its efforts to attract companies to the region.
The inward investment agency’s strategy is to develop a strong investment pipeline through careful research, generating new leads, long-term campaigns and projects through partners such as UK Trade & Investment (UKTI), the private sector, direct leads and networking, then providing compelling intelligence to prospective investors that will secure the investment.
Mr Cross said: “Our strategy is focused on attracting new investment that creates jobs in the Bristol and Bath region and we are delighted that we have now surpassed the 1,000-mark in this respect.
“In fact, to date, we have helped to create 1,234 jobs in the region and we are on track to achieve our two-year target of generating 1,380 jobs, 529 of which were created last year. Our success in attracting a string of international businesses to the region has boosted these figures significantly.
“Looking ahead, there is a strong pipeline of inward investment activity with solid interest from numerous companies looking to invest in the region.”
Other investment projects to have been secured in the West of England region recently include: Kainos, the specialist independent software company from Belfast, which has opened an office in Bristol city centre; and Sanoh, the international automotive industry manufacturer originating from Asia, which has opened a new site in Bristol.