Investment in Herts reaches five-year high

Porters restautant in Berkhamsted is one of the recent new businesses
Porters restautant in Berkhamsted is one of the recent new businesses
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The number of successful new investment projects in Herts hit a five-year high in 2014-15, according to new figures from business bosses.

The statistics, released by the Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership (Herts LEP), also show a sharp increase in the number of new jobs created over the last 12 months.

In 2014/15 466 new jobs were created in Hertfordshire, up 60 per cent compared with 12 months earlier.

LEPs are voluntary partnerships between local authorities and businesses which promote economic growth and job creation in their local area.

Tim Burton, Herts LEP inward investment manager, said: “These figures are encouraging as inward investment is a competitive arena and we respect the natural draw of London to investors and the strength of propositions that areas across the UK can provide.

“Our message to companies considering relocating here is that Hertfordshire is a great place to live, work and do business.

“It is our vision to accelerate business-led economic growth and we will continue to work hard with our partners and key stakeholders, such as UKTI, to ensure we achieve this.

“It is also heartening to see Hertfordshire’s economic recovery, where we are seeing new jobs created, as opposed to previous years where our focus has been on safeguarding existing jobs.”

Herts LEP divides the county into three growth areas which are concentrated around the main road and rail routes.

Hemel, Watford and St Albans are grouped in one area, referred to as the ‘M1/M25 growth area’.

The study also looks at foreign direct invesment (FDI) projects, which can be overseas businesses establishing new operations in the UK, or foreign-owned businesses expanding.

The LEP claims there have been 62 successful FDIs over the past three years. More than half of them have been in the Hemel, Watford and St Albans area.