Working in partnership to attract inward investment

Attracting inward investment is an important activity for every city-region. In Newcastle, we're leveraging the knowledge economy underpinned by world-class higher education. Read on to discover how Newcastle University works to support inward investment.

The North East of England topped the list of UK regions for new job creation from inward investment, according to annual statistics from the Department for International Trade (DIT) published in June 2022.

The North East region’s success in attracting foreign direct investment (FDI) was further evidenced in September 2022. As reported in the Financial Times (26 September 2022), an analysis of market data and government statistics carried out by the Northern Powerhouse Partnership lobby group revealed that the value of FDI into the north of England rose by almost three quarters in the past five years. The North increased its share of the UK’s FDI projects from 19% to 33% over the same period.

Newcastle University works closely with inward investment agency, Invest Newcastle, to attract companies looking to locate and invest in the North East.

The University’s Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Engagement and Place, Professor Jane Robinson, says this partnership approach is key to the region’s success in attracting FDI.

“It is the attraction of access to the University’s research and innovation expertise, and critically, to the pool of highly-skilled graduates, that makes the difference when the investment agency attends annual events like MIPIM and UK REiiF, the forum aiming to drive economic growth and inclusive investment across the UK.”

QuantuMDx was encouraged to move to Newcastle as an early start-up in 2008 by Professor Sir John Burn and was supported by Newcastle University as it grew to become a successful biotech company based in the city, with an international reach. More recent arrivals, include global digital solutions company, Monstarlab, and US-based cybersecurity company, Arctic Wolf.

Newcastle Helix

Professor Robinson also points to the landmark £350 million innovation district, Newcastle Helix, a public-private sector partnership between the University, Newcastle City Council and Legal and General. The University purchased the 24-acre site in 2005 with the City Council and the then regional development agency One North East.

"The vision for Helix was to regenerate this area of the city, creating a sustainable innovation zone that combined commercial and residential space with the University’s cutting-edge research and education facilities.

"Helix is a great example of how critical mass is starting to attract more businesses. Access to talent is a key issue for companies who have recently located on the site, such as WombleBondDickinson and biotechnology company, Iksuda."

Working with our partners, we also align our University's strategic direction with opportunities to invest in the region.

With the City Council and Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS foundation trust we are leading the development of a campus for ageing and vitality to the west of the city centre.

At the most recent UKREiiF we secured HPO (High Potential Opportunity) status with the Department for International Trade (DIT) for Healthy Ageing. This is the latest step in positioning Newcastle as a global leader in longevity and health ageing across the whole lifecycle.

The North East of England is demonstrating its capacity for knowledge-driven economic development and inward investment including:

  • availbility of development space
  • stable population
  • excellent research and education
  • entrepreneurship

The region is now positioned as a testbed for innovation to grow regional innovation clusters in electrification and in longevity that are networked with superclusters that extend across three of the UK nations.

November 2022 saw the launch of Newcastle University’s investment prospectus, promoting a range of investment opportunities aligned with these innovation clusters, coordinating with other universities and our partners across the North East to promote over £6bn investment opportunities.

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