Scotland rivalled only by London for inward investment

Scotland was the most successful region outside of London last year in terms of attracting inward investment projects, according to a new survey.

Edinburgh's financial district. Picture: Ian Rutherford

The latest EY attractiveness survey shows that Scotland attracted 80 separate foreign investment projects during 2014.

It is the third successive year that Scotland has been the most successful region outside London.

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Almost half of all projects coming to Scotland in 2014 - 37 - came from the US, representing a ten-year high in American investment.

The increase has, in part, been attributed to the high international profile enjoyed by Scotland in 2014 thanks to the Commonwealth Games, Ryder Cup and referendum.

EY’s attractiveness surveys are aimed at helping businesses make investment decisions and governments to improve their business environment.

Deputy First Minister John Swinney said: “Scotland is punching above our economic weight, with the EY attractiveness survey showing we continue to be the most successful part of the UK outside London in attracting foreign direct investment (FDI) projects.

“The number of manufacturing FDI projects coming to Scotland more than doubled, growing from 15 to 31.

“Combined with a rise in scientific research projects - reaching another ten-year high - and the largest number of financial FDI projects since 2006, this shows an encouraging trend towards high-value projects that recognise our highly-skilled workforce.

“In all, 80 separate inward investment projects came to Scotland last year and almost half of them were from the USA - a ten-year record.

“This is not just a positive year for Scotland but a continuation of a pattern of competitive excellence - over the last ten years Scotland has secured over 37,000 jobs from FDI, a narrow second only to London and well ahead of all other parts of the UK.

“These figures show we are a national economy whose attractiveness as an FDI location is continuing to hold its own in an increasingly competitive global market.”