Ipswich is ranked in the top ten places in Europe for future investment alongside Amsterdam and Zurich
PUBLISHED: 06:00 22 February 2016
The Ipswich area is one of the top ten places to invest in Europe - alongside places like Amsterdam, Zurich and Helsinki - according to a major new survey by one of the continent's most respected business groups.
The Foreign Direct Investment Survey of “Small European Regions” puts Greater Ipswich – the area within a 15-mile radius of the town – as being in the top ten places on the continent for future investment.
The survey is published by the Financial Times, and is seen as one of the most influential documents for businesses looking for investment sites.
It says that the Greater Ipswich area offers good value for investors – and it is ideally placed for investors looking to develop in the long term.
Probably not since Ipswich Town won the UEFA cup under Bobby Robson’s management in 1981 has the area’s stock been so high on the continent.
The town has good links with Cambridge and London, which are both seen as major investment magnets, and is in the East of England which is seen as one of the “Regions of the Future” in the same survey.
Ipswich council leader David Ellesmere said the inclusion of the town in the survey followed on from Ipswich’s visit to the MIPIM business exhibition at the end of last year – a gathering of investors from across the world in London.
He said: “We had a great deal of interest there including the team who were putting together the survey.
“This is very important to us because it is bringing the strengths of Ipswich to a wider audience, and the kind of people looking at where to invest.
“There are many opportunities in the area: the Waterfront, the sugar beet site, Futura Park, and the Grafton Way site that is still owned by Tesco.”
Ipswich MP Ben Gummer said the survey showed that the town’s success was being noticed around a wider area. He said: “I am delighted that we are getting our message out there to people who are looking at future investment possibilities.”
In the past Mr Gummer has described the East of England, and the Ipswich area in particular, as “The California of Europe.”
He said now: “When I made the comparison with California there were a few smiles, but the fact is that what is happening here is being noticed and we could be at the start of something really good.”
Ipswich Central chairman Terry Baxter also welcomed the news. He said: “This is very welcome recognition of the work of the Ipswich Vision Board and the co-ordinated approach this town is taking in presenting itself to prospective investors, employers and developers from around the world.
“To be included in the FDI Awards within a year of launching the ‘Vision’ for Ipswich and setting out our agenda for change shows that people are sitting up and taking notice, not only in the UK but beyond.”