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North East England – the UK’s inward investment hot spot

July 28, 2020

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The North East has outperformed every other English region outside London on the number of new jobs created from foreign direct investment in 2019/20, relative to its population.

The latest figures from The Department for International Trade (DIT) show that in 2019/20 the North East created 179 jobs for every 100,000 people (working age population), placing it behind only London as the best performing area of the country.

The sectors that saw the biggest job increases in the region were business services, digital, offshore wind and advanced manufacturing.

Invest North East England (INEE), the inward investment agency covering Northumberland, County Durham and Tyne and Wear, reported that over 2,500 jobs were created by foreign investment in this area.  The jobs are being created by a combination of new companies locating to the North East as well as existing companies expanding and growing within the region.

Guy Currey, Director of INEE, said: “These figures once again show the North East is punching well above its weight in attracting inward investment. Other much larger regions tend to get all the plaudits as inward investment hot spots; however these figures prove that this region is again leading the way.

“Investors are choosing North East England over other areas of the country because of the skills and expertise we offer in emerging sectors of industry, and the world-class hubs and clusters that have developed based on that talent and our fantastic universities.

“New, state of the art offices such as the recently completed Riga building in Gateshead, The Lumen on Newcastle Helix, The Beam in Sunderland and the soon to be completed Milburngate in Durham city centre, are giving investors confidence they can grow their business in North East England and become part of one of the UK’s most dynamic economies.”

In 2019/20, INEE and its local authority partners have supported many high-profile businesses to relocate or expand in the region, including Europe’s largest domestic alarm provider, Verisure UK Services Limited.  Verisure UK will open its customer contact centre at Quorum Business Park, North Tyneside and looks to create up to 1,000 jobs.

In addition, the North East has welcomed global infrastructure company, Elecnor to Infinity Park in South Tyneside and US tech company Saggezza has continued its rapid expansion in Sunderland Software Centre.

During 2019/20, INEE has worked hard to support several key investor projects and hosted numerous client visits. Despite the coronavirus pandemic, the team has an active pipeline of projects, with some large successes expected in 2020/21 on top of the recent press announcements about Amazon and Equinor/SEE together creating over 1,200 new jobs in Durham and South Tyneside.

Guy continued: “Major development sites like Jade Business Park in County Durham; Energy Central in Blyth; and International Advanced Manufacturing Park (IAMP) in Sunderland/South Tyneside have helped shine a light on our region. Businesses are always impressed by the facilities on offer here, and the opportunities that being based in the North East provides; everything from excellent connectivity, to the region’s low labour attrition rates and the exceptional quality of life.

“At a time when investors will be looking for low risk projects that can provide a high return on investment, North East England will continue to be seen as a very attractive destination.”

Invest North East England works in partnership with the seven local authorities and the two combined authorities that cover Northumberland, County Durham and Tyne and Wear to help businesses locate or expand in North East England.  Focusing on the region’s sector strengths, it helps businesses access government, support agencies, sector specialists, universities, colleges, knowledge networks, finance streams and business organisations so they can locate, grow and prosper in the region.

For more information about Invest North East England, visit

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