Doncaster has been put forward as a key location for potential new foreign investment by International Trade Secretary Dr Liam Fox.
Rail has been a major part of Doncaster’s economy for more than 150 years and with a world class cluster of rail businesses employing over 8,000 people Doncaster remains a key location for rail investment.
An ageing fleet with passenger and freight numbers that are increasing, the size of UK rolling stock growing faster than at any time in decades, combined with government commitments on rail projects, the arrival of HS2, and a significant level of imports ripe for substitution, creates a pipeline of UK demand offering numerous supply chain opportunities.
The programme, part of the Government’s modern Industrial Strategy, will seek to generate £30 billion of investment across 68 projects all over the UK, helping to promote economic growth in every region.
A key component of the plan will be the creation of three pilot High Potential Opportunities (HPO) in specific industry sectors.
One of these, in rail supply chain and railway stock, will be based in Doncaster, an area highlighted in the announcement as having existing infrastructure and engineering prowess coupled with rail heritage and connectivity, access to a vibrant industry network and rolling stock engineering centre of excellence, a cost competitive location and inward investment support from Business Doncaster and partners.
The pilot schemes will aim to bring growth and jobs to all parts of the UK economy by promoting those investment opportunities currently disadvantaged by a lack of information, and which might therefore be overlooked by foreign investors.
The Doncaster pilot, together with those in Telford on high-tech food production and Greater Manchester on materials for the transport sector, will be followed by other HPOs in due course.
Dr Fox launched the new drive to attract foreign investment into the UK at a meeting of the Board of Trade in Stirling last week.
He said: "This is a bold and ambitious programme, building on the UK's position as the leading destination for foreign investment in Europe through the government's Industrial Strategy, helping to build a Britain fit for the future.
"The High Potential Opportunities scheme will deliver growth where it is most needed, ensuring that the benefits of global investment are felt in every part of the country.
"And with more than £30 billion worth of new opportunities, my international economic department's overseas network is working hard to attract top investors to the UK."
“The selection of Doncaster as part of the initial HPO programme is testament to the importance of rail in the area and recognition of the significant role that rail investment will play in the UK’s future growth. Doncaster will be at the heart of this expansion and is gearing up to take a substantial slice of the billions being invested in rail over the next 20 years” commented Andrew Webb, Rail Sector Development Manager, Business Doncaster.