The city council has welcomed a new report that names Leeds as one of the UK’s go-to destinations for major international investors.

Professional services firm EY’s latest UK Attractiveness Survey shows Leeds was the seventh best performing place in the country for foreign direct investment (FDI) projects during 2020.

The survey identifies a total of 16 FDI projects secured by the city over the course of the year, despite the economic pressures caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

EY’s report – which includes analysis of 570 international investors’ perceptions of the UK as a destination for FDI – also pinpoints digital technology as a sector with “significant growth potential” for Yorkshire as a whole.

Councillor James Lewis, leader of Leeds City Council, said: “These are encouraging findings and ones that I am sure will be welcomed by all those working hard to secure the kind of investment that will bring new employment and skills opportunities for people across Leeds.

“COVID-19 has clearly had a major impact on the economies of big cities like ours but the future here is looking bright, thanks in part to high-profile projects such as the new Leeds-based hubs being planned by the Bank of England and the Department for Transport.

“We were also delighted to be named earlier this year as the location of the country’s first-ever infrastructure bank, which will invest in public and private projects across the UK.

“Work on the City Square House development – which will be home to global law firm DLA Piper – is another notable vote of confidence for Leeds, along with the sizeable investment commitments made by the likes of Channel 4, Sky and Burberry at other local sites.

“It’s also pleasing to see digital technology and health and wellbeing picked out in the report as growth areas for the UK, given the strong position Leeds already occupies in these two sectors.”

Leeds’s total of 16 FDI projects accounts for nearly a third of all those secured across Yorkshire and the Humber in 2020.

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