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Business News


String of international firms move to the region


A string of international companies moving to the West Midlands has put the region top of the UK’s overseas investment chart for five years running. It is now the fifth year in a row that the region has


been hailed as the UK’s leading location for Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) outside of London and the South East, new data from the Department for International Trade has revealed. The latest figures show the region attracted 157 new


FDI projects in 2019/20. This accounts for eight per cent of the UK’s total number secured, and is the largest share generated of all UK regions outside of London. The biggest sources of investment in the West Midlands since 2015 have been the US, Germany, France and India. In total, 802 foreign investments have been made in the region during this time. Global heavyweights like consultancy firm Alvarez &


Marsal and Microland – India’s leading digital IT transformation company – are among its most notable investors from the last five years. Led by restructuring expert Omar Mirza, the office


marked the firm’s first UK investment outside of London. A&M have also recently set up a transactions services practice in Birmingham, led by former Ernst and Young specialist, Wayne Jephson. Mr Mirza said: “The West Midlands is home to a wide


range of companies from privately-owned family businesses, private equity backed entities and large publicly listed companies, all of which operate across a variety of sectors. The diverse pool of industries that comprises the West Midlands’ economy offers us a solid opportunity to support local companies through these uncertain times and hopefully make the region stronger as a result. This, coupled with the energy and prestige of Birmingham’s professional and financial services community, made creating a new office in the region a natural choice.” Other businesses setting up shop in the city include Massachusetts (US)-based IPG Photonics, digital firm


Solid opportunity: Omar Mirza


Microland, setting up in Bournville, Chinese investment group Fosun International, and German railway firm Deutsche Bahn Engineering and Consulting. Neil Rami, chief executive at the West Midlands


Growth Company, said: “This robust track record of international appeal clearly signals our credentials as a global business destination, and takes us confidently into a defining decade for the West Midlands. “Our region is set to benefit from many exciting and


exclusive milestones – such as the 2021 Coventry City of Culture, 2022 Commonwealth Games, new High- Speed 2 rail infrastructure and 5G multi-city testbed facilities – which will give us a uniquely competitive advantage over other locations to attract investment in the future.”


• More international news on Page 32 Championing responsible business


A leading Birmingham-based engineering group has been named as a Responsible Business Champion by a Prince of Wales- backed charity. The recognition places the multi- disciplined adi Group among a distinguished list of alumni including Unilever, Deloitte and Anglian Water. Adi Group was awarded the


Education Partnership Award by Business in the Community (BITC), a flagship business-community outreach programme set up by patrons, including Princes Charles. This award also coincides with the group’s 30th anniversary, which was celebrated in June 2020. It is the latest in a string of


honours earned by adi’s pre- apprentice programme, which was launched in partnership with North Bromsgrove High School in Birmingham four years ago to


Apprentices champion: Alan Lusty


Co-founders: Jonathan Carter (left) and Marc Hornby


Kenilworth pub on award shortlist


The Virgins & Castle on the old High Street in Kenilworth has been shortlisted for a Great British Pub Award. The 16th Century pub, owned by hospitality group and Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce members, Caviar & Chips, is now down to the last six finalists in the country for their category. The Great British Pub Heroes


Awards were set up to showcase the contributions that pubs all over the country have made during the Covid-19 pandemic.


‘Pubs up and down the UK have really had to adapt to keep in business’


Each winner will be offered the opportunity to submit an application for up to £10,000 each to fund a business improvement or upgrade or to put towards a community project. Additionally, award sponsors, Coca-Cola, will fund a further £1,000 donation to a local charity or good cause supported by each of the winning pubs. Marc Hornby, co-founder of


Caviar & Chips and Sutton Coldfield Chamber committee member, said: “The last few months have been


incredibly hard for everyone and particularly in the world of hospitality. Pubs up and down the UK have really had to adapt to keep in business, but those that have, have made a massive difference to their communities. “For us at the Virgins & Castle, we


mentor 14-16-year-olds, giving them hands-on engineering skills as well as valuable experience of a real working environment. Adi’s CEO and founder Alan


Lusty said: “We’re delighted to join this esteemed national list. The programme allows us to mentor


youngsters and give them valuable vocational skills that put them miles ahead of their peers.” For more information on BITC


and the Responsible Business Awards, visit www.bitc.org.uk


Visit: www.adiltd.co.uk


put a lot of investment in our team wellbeing even when the world was ‘normal’. We’re trying to buck the trend for what it’s like working in hospitality and it’s been like that since our company was started.”


To find out more about Virgins & Castle visit: www.virginsandcastle.com


October 2020 CHAMBERLINK 25


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