Invest Bristol & Bath attracts 30 new businesses and 530 jobs in first year

Invest Bristol & Bath is celebrating a highly successful first year of operation, having helped 30 new companies locate or expand in the West of England area with the potential to deliver more than 530 new jobs in the next three years.

Part of the West of England Local Enterprise Partnership, Invest Bristol & Bath promotes inward investment into Bristol, Bath & North East Somerset, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire. The team is based in the Engine Shed, Bristol’s new business centre in the heart of the Temple Quarter Enterprise Zone.

These strong figures for the financial year just ended (April 2013 to March 2014) reveal how Invest Bristol & Bath has attracted a wide range of new international and national companies from a mix of industries including creative, low carbon, high tech, and advanced engineering and aerospace.

Companies supported by Invest Bristol & Bath to set up or expand in the region in the last year include:

·         Kainos, the specialist independent software company from Belfast, which has just opened an office in Bristol city centre and has ambitious expansion plans that will create up to 80 new jobs;
·         SITA UK, the international recycling and resource management company which has begun work on the Severnside energy recovery centre, delivering 53 new full time jobs and a further 200 jobs during the construction phase;
·         Sanoh, the international automotive industry manufacturer originating from Asia, which has opened a new site in Bristol bringing 40 new jobs in its first six months.

The news follows a series of recent announcements that showcase the region’s emergence as a national centre for technology and its high quality of life. These include Bristol-born SecondSync joining Twitter, Somerset-based Ascenta, a solar-powered drone maker, being acquired by Facebook and the recent high level of interest from investors in a tech start-up event organised in partnership with the university-business incubator SETsquared.

In March, The Sunday Times crowned Bristol the UK’s best city to live in while earlier this month Management Today put Bristol at number two in the UK’s seven best tech hubs outside London.

Invest Bristol & Bath, which is funded by BIS (Department for Business Innovation and Skills) for three years, is continuing to work on a strong pipeline of active leads and projects with the potential to deliver up to 4,500 new jobs.

Professor Joe McGeehan, Chair of Invest Bristol & Bath and senior general advisor at Toshiba Corporation and Founding MD at Toshiba Research Europe Ltd: Telecommunications Research Laboratory, said:

“These figures show just what an impact Invest Bristol & Bath is having on the regional economy. We’re very proud to have helped bring in exciting new companies to the West of England area, delivering new skilled jobs and helping to cement our reputation as an innovative and expanding tech cluster.”

David Maher-Roberts, digital & creative sector champion at Invest Bristol & Bath, added:

“Bristol & Bath has burst onto the world stage as a rapidly growing technology cluster and the region is gaining serious momentum. Building on its heritage in microelectronics and media, it has become the natural home to brilliant people building products and businesses at the intersection of high tech and creativity.

“Invest Bristol & Bath has played a crucial role in bringing innovative new business into the region and we’re looking forward to building on that success with an even stronger second year.”

Brian Gannon, director of corporate development for digital solutions company Kainos, which opened a new Bristol office last month, said:

“Invest Bristol & Bath gave us invaluable support in setting up our Bristol operation. Extremely well connected, they have been key in helping us open doors in the region, and introducing us to the business and academic communities, which has been critical for recruitment.”

Michael Boyd, managing director of Investment Group at UKTI – the trade and investment arm of BIS, which funds Invest Bristol & Bath, said:

“Encouraging inward investment is key to the Government’s long term economic plan as it creates economic growth and jobs.  It is through the hard work and commitment of organisations like Invest Bristol and Bath that the UK remains the nation to beat for Europe-bound investment and consistently ranks as the top location of choice for global investors.

“There have been some exciting inward investment wins in the West of England and UKTI advisors are busy, at home and overseas, showcasing the area’s strengths in high tech, creative, low carbon, aerospace and advanced manufacturing to prospective foreign investors.”

Other highlights from Invest Bristol & Bath’s first year include being named one of Europe’s highest performing regions for FDI (Foreign Direct Investment) in an annual survey carried out by fDi Intelligence, part of the Financial Times.

Invest Bristol & Bath also led a successful delegation to MIPIM, the international property event in Cannes, in March. Showcasing the region’s substantial development opportunities and with an innovative stand modelled on Bristol’s new Engine Shed, the team held over 50 meetings with potential investors and developers and attracted around 500 visitors to the stand.