business

Birmingham to house new Midlands foreign investment hub

Body takes with creating 1,400 new jobs and bringing in millions of pounds of international investment will be based in the city centre

Baskerville House will be the home of a new foreign investment hub

A new hub tasked with delivering more high-value foreign investment projects into the Midlands region will be based in Birmingham city centre.

The foreign investment hub, which was first revealed by Business Minister Anna Soubry earlier this month, will be housed in Baskerville House in Centenary Square.

It will bring together the Midlands' 11 local enterprise partnerships and staff from government body UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) and based within the existing Birmingham Business Hub.

This is operated by inward investment agency Marketing Birmingham and currently comprising funding stream Finance Birmingham, Greater Birmingham & Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership (GBSLEP) and business support provider GBSLEP Growth Hub and Winning Moves.

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When established, the headquarters will be responsible for creating 1,400 jobs and bringing £15 million of foreign investment into the region over the next three years.

Sir John Peace, chairman of the Government's 'Midlands Engine' project, said: "As we transition into a strong, new government with its own new global investment strategy, it's now more important than ever to have a central hub for attracting investment to the UK.

"We are telling the world that the Midlands is open for business.

"This investment hub will act as the focal point for those efforts, leading overseas trade missions and events to showcase the region's credentials to important investors across the world.

"We're bringing together experts from UKTI, with specialists in all major sectors including regeneration to be based in the hub in Birmingham.

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"And there will also be representatives from all 11 LEPs in the region to brief potential investors on opportunities in major sectors across the Midlands."

Marketing Birmingham's chief executive Neil Rami added: "Joining forces with the Midlands' LEPs and UKTI experts here in Birmingham is an exciting prospect.

"Since moving to the Birmingham Business Hub in 2011, we've been able to collaborate more closely with public and private sector bodies across the city, resulting in record levels of foreign direct investment and more jobs being created."

The new foreign investment hub is expected to be operational by this autumn.

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