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30 December 2002

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New jobs created as GPIA generates investment enquiries

The number of jobs created by companies moving into Greater Peterborough, UK, last year was three times as high as in the previous twelve months, despite the fact that enquiries from companies considering making such a move fell by one-third.

Greater Peterborough Investment Agency (GPIA) handled just 192 significant enquiries about company relocations in the financial year which finished in March 2002, compared with 284 in the previous twelve months. Despite the fall in enquiries, however, 32 companies actually did make a move - exactly the same number as in the previous year.

GPIA chief executive Gloria Milne said: "The worldwide economic slowdown last year, coupled with the horrific events of September 11, led to a steep fall in the number of firms considering relocating their businesses. This was something which affected every part of the UK, not just Peterborough.

"It is particularly pleasing that in this very difficult economic climate we were able to help convince so many firms actually to make the move.

"Even more pleasing was the fact that several of those investments - most notably IKEA - were substantial moves involving large numbers of jobs. Around 550 new jobs are being created as a result of the moves agreed last year, compared with just 165 in the previous year.

"And this is just the jobs being created by firms which are moving. Although some established local companies have experienced job losses over the past year, hundreds more jobs are being generated by firms such as Budget and Royal & SunAlliance within their existing premises.

One third of the enquires handled by GPIA last year - and one half of the actual relocations - were from local companies looking to expand within the area.

Mrs Milne said: "The figures show that looking after companies which are already here is vitally important. We need to be sure that successful businesses have the room and the support which they need to expand and create new jobs here, rather than feeling they need to move away.

"An increasingly large part of our work at GPIA involves working with established Peterborough companies to ensure that we retain them within the area."

Many of the enquiries from outside the area were generated by GPIA's 'Positively Peterborough' advertising and promotional campaign which ran in the first half of last year.

GPIA has recently announced plans for a substantial new campaign of advertising and promotional activity to run throughout the current year.

Mrs Milne said: "Despite the difficult conditions Greater Peterborough had a successful year for relocations. However, there are more and more areas actively promoting themselves as relocation destinations and there are fewer firms around that are considering making a move. In this highly competitive market we need to work even harder to ensure that we continue to attract new investment into this area."

April 2002




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