Three leading West Midlands locations have been recognised in fDi Intelligence’s European Cities and Regions of the Future 2023 FDI Strategy rankings.

Birmingham, Wolverhampton and Coventry & Warwickshire all took top-three rankings in their respective categories, emphasising the attractiveness of the West Midlands’ inward investment offer. The rankings benchmark European cities and regions according to their economic, financial, and business strengths.

Wolverhampton shared first place in the Small European Cities of the Future, impressing judges as a “city on the rise”. The city’s winning entry discussed the launch of its Inward Investment Prospectus and establishing Wolverhampton as home to the National Centre for Sustainable Construction.

Birmingham performed strongly in the Large European Cities of the Future category, coming joint second. Birmingham’s FDI strategy was recognised for its focus on leveraging the platform provided by the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games to realise its potential as a competitive, global investment destination. Its strategy also focused on the application of novel AI technology to develop insight, and the soft-landing support provided by a specialist team.

Coventry & Warwickshire was also recognised in the Local Enterprise Partnership Area category, securing third place. The region’s investment strategy stood out due to the strength of its soft-landing support, close collaboration with local partners and unique offer to inward investors, with OLA Electric, Polestar and Switch Mobility amongst recent new investors into the area.

Neil Rami, CEO at the West Midlands Growth Company, the region’s official Investment Promotion Agency, said:

“Securing a greater slice of the UK’s inward investment is a crucial component of our region’s economic strategy. These rankings emphasise the strength of our FDI proposition, the evidence-base behind it, and the extensive market engagement employed to position the West Midlands as the UK’s most successful FDI recipient outside of London and the South-East.

“Comprised of three, thriving major cities with complementary assets and combined economic scale that is equivalent to the whole of Hungary, the West Midlands is a unique and internationally competitive investment destination. However, the fact that Birmingham, Wolverhampton and Coventry & Warwickshire all ranked so highly in their categories - with Wolverhampton achieving the top spot - emphasises that they are also world-class FDI hotspots in their own right.”

Councillor Ian Brookfield, City of Wolverhampton Council Leader, said:

“This fDi honour demonstrates what a strong proposition Wolverhampton is for inward investment from the private sector. It is built on the Council’s ‘can do’ partnership approach and an attractive city investment prospectus that sets out the case for investment in the city, and opportunities that can deliver transformational change.

“Wolverhampton is a city on the rise, with a clear strategy supported by energy and ambition.”

Councillor Ian Ward, Leader of Birmingham City Council, said:

“These rankings are testament to Birmingham’s strong track record of attracting FDI, with Indian-owned companies Firstsource and Microland recently announcing further expansion plans in the city. We look forward to leveraging the legacy of Birmingham 2022 to encourage more innovative global businesses – from across our key sectors – to set up home here, creating jobs for local people and boosting the UK economy.”

The West Midlands is the UK’s leading region outside London and the South East for attracting Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), with 5,571 new jobs created from 143 FDI projects in 2021/22.

The West Midlands Growth Company (WMGC) is the region’s official Investment Promotion Agency, which seeks to attract FDI, as well as domestic investment across the region’s target sectors, which include; future mobility, digital & creative technologies, data driven healthcare, business, professional and financial services and low carbon.