Middlesbrough’s major economic ambitions have been boosted with it being named one of the Top 10 Small Cities in Europe by the Financial Times.
The high-profile listing comes in a report entitled European Cities and Regions of the Future 2018-19 which asks the question “With Europe in flux, which locations have investment potential for the long haul?”
The report has been compiled by the FT’s supplement – fDi magazine – which looks at potential for foreign direct investment (FDI). Middlesbrough was listed at number nine for small cities in Europe with its strategy to attract foreign investment.
A small city is categorised as having less than 1.5m people.
Middlesbrough Mayor Dave Budd (pictured above) said: “Middlesbrough has a rich history of industry, innovation and pioneering exploration, and we’re building on that in the 21st Century with a booming city centre economy, burgeoning digital and creative sectors and a thriving University.
“This recognition further underpins our potential for global investment, and marks Middlesbrough out as a beacon of ambition, regeneration and prosperity.
“Not so long ago Boro fans were chanting about Middlesbrough being a ‘small town in Europe’ with our usual self-effacing pride and good humour.
“It is great to see us now being recognised for our city-scale economic ambitions beyond the UK’s borders.”
Middlesbrough Council’s Investment Prospectus is the central plank of the economic development being seen in the town’s centre – or city heart – which will see the authority invest £74m in order to unlock more than £600m of private inward investment and secure 600 new jobs.
Among the projects happening are the £22.46 million Tees Advanced Manufacturing Park (TAMP) – based on the historic South West Ironmasters site – which is aimed at high productivity cutting edge manufacturing companies looking for a prime location in one of the UK’s key regeneration areas.
Other key projects include the proposed snow centre and the building of five new office blocks to the east of Centre Square to attract 1,500 new jobs and to re-home Middlesbrough Council staff.
Courtney Fingar, fDi Magazine’s editor-in-chief said: “In an ever more competitive global investment landscape and at a time when Europe is moving into a new political chapter with continuing uncertainties, it is equally challenging and important for cities and regions across to Europe to bolster their appeal for foreign direct investment.
“fDi Magazine’s rankings are the result of a detailed, in-depth benchmarking exercise to determine the European locations with the brightest prospects for future inward investment. We applaud all cities and regions success in these rankings.”