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."