The West Midlands recorded its best year for foreign investment in a decade with more than 4,500 jobs created in 2014.

In all, the region recorded 65 foreign direct investment (FDI) projects across the year, which represented an increase of 38 per cent on 2013 figures.

Among those to invest last year were Virgin Media, which created 400 jobs, manufacturer Hydraforce, which created 207, and TRW Automotive, which created 56.

The data has been unveiled by EY’s annual UK Attractiveness Survey, which ranked the West Midlands as the fourth best-performing area of the UK in the attraction of FDI – securing 7.3 per cent of UK projects, compared to 5.8 per cent the previous year.

Neil Rami, chief executive of Marketing Birmingham, said: “This region has never been more attractive to investors. It has caught the interest of companies across the world, led by the region’s highly competitive manufacturing sector, which is attracting more foreign direct investment projects than any other industry.

“The success of manufacturing in the West Midlands, along with a growing reputation for digital media and business, professional and financial services, reflects a local strategy to target the sectors that will deliver the greatest impact here.”

Despite the region being the second best-performing in the UK in terms of job creation from foreign investment, behind Northern Ireland, it actually represented a 33 per cent fall in terms of record-breaking figures from 2013.

It was, however, the second-largest total the region has seen in the last decade. On average the West Midlands secures 2,870 jobs per annum from FDI.

Sara Fowler, senior partner at EY in the Midlands, said: “It’s been an exceptional year for the West Midlands with record project numbers creating more jobs, which has contributed to 2014 being the most successful year for the region in a decade.”

The automotive sector was key to the growth with a total of 13 projects in the region in 2014.

Projects carried out by Jaguar Land Rover, Amtek Auto Group and the Brose Group together accounted for 1,300 new jobs.

The largest single investment in employment terms, however, was undertaken by Extraenergy who created 1,000 jobs in a headquarters project in Birmingham.