The UK has secured £29.5 billion of new investment from global businesses to boost thriving UK sectors including tech, life sciences and renewables.
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak unveiled the funding pledges as global CEOs and investors arrive at the Global Investment Summit at Hampton Court Palace.
The government said the investment will create more than 12,000 jobs and drive growth across the country.
It follows the government’s new £4.5bn Advanced Manufacturing Plan, a £2bn investment from Nissan which will secure thousands of jobs in Sunderland, and a new Investment Zone in the North East which will create 4,000 jobs.
Nearly 26,000 jobs were created last year alone in the North West and North East from inward investment projects, with over 7,000 in Yorkshire and The Humber and 11,000 in the Midlands.
The summit will be opened by the Prime Minister and Business & Trade Secretary Kemi Badenoch, with notable CEOs in attendance including Stephen Schwarzman from Blackstone, Amanda Blanc at Aviva, David Soloman from Goldman Sachs and Jamie Dimon at JP Morgan Chase.
Barclays, HSBC and Lloyds Bank will also attend as Principal Partners of the Summit, which will celebrate ‘British Ideas – Past, Present and Future’, from the steam train to quantum computing. It will be followed by a reception at Buckingham Palace hosted by King Charles.
“Today’s investments, worth more than £29bn, will create thousands of new jobs and are a huge vote of confidence in the future of the UK economy. Global CEOs are right to back Britain – we are making this the best place in the world to invest and do business,” said Sunak.
“From giving businesses the biggest tax cut in recent history last week, to our culture of innovation and thriving universities producing some of the finest minds in the world, ours is truly a nation of opportunity.
“Attracting global investment is at the heart of my plan for growing the economy. With new funding pouring into key industries like clean energy, life sciences and advanced technology, inward investment is creating high-quality new jobs and driving growth right across the country.”
In a huge boost for Net Zero and the UK’s world-leading renewables sector, Iberdrola have confirmed £7bn of investment as part of a total £12bn programme for 2024-28, with North Star, owned by Partners Group in Switzerland, also committing £500m and 400 new jobs to offshore wind infrastructure.
Fellow portfolio company Gren has also recently acquired a network of waste and biomass assets, which play a key role in baseload energy production and reducing waste to landfill. The company plans to invest up to £1bn in district heating and local energy systems that will deliver affordable green energy to over 200,000 homes and thousands of businesses in the UK, with sites among others in Wick, Sheffield and Nottingham.
The lucrative projects come on the back of a huge spike in inward investment for renewables in the UK, rising from £19bn in 2021 to £55 billion in 2022, with 11,500 jobs being created in the industry last year alone.
Business & Trade Secretary Kemi Badenoch said: “The £29.5 billion pledged today is yet another huge vote of confidence in our dynamic, pro-business and highly innovative economy and proves that our plan for growth is working.
“The numbers speak for themselves: we have the third highest levels of inward investment in the world at $2.7 trillion, we’re number one in Europe for new investment projects, and last year alone we created 107,000 jobs through inward investment.
“People want to invest in a country with vision, ideas and growth, and our Summit showcases all these qualities and proves why the UK is the most exciting and innovative place in the world to invest.”
Australia’s IFM Investors also intends to invest £10bn over the next four years for large-scale infrastructure and energy transition projects.
IFM will sign an MoU with the Department for Business & Trade at the summit to identify commercially viable opportunities, with potential projects including Nala Renewables, a UK-based portfolio company within IFM, which is actively seeking investment opportunities in the UK as it looks to achieve a renewable capacity target of 4GW by 2025.
And in a further boost from Australia, Aware Super have committed more than £5bn for projects in energy transition, affordable housing, life sciences, innovation, technology and digital infrastructure, just days after opening their new UK office.
The summit will also see billions for the UK’s burgeoning tech sector, which already attracts the highest levels of investment in Europe and last year became the third in the world to be worth $1 trillion.
Following the government’s hosting of the first global AI safety summit, Microsoft has pledged £2.5bn to build critical AI infrastructure, bringing more next-generation AI data centres and thousands of graphic processing units to the UK.
The UK’s R&D scene will also see a £1bn investment from the Ellison Institute of Technology into their recently announced Oxford Campus, bringing together global innovative thinkers through a new interdisciplinary research and development facility to help solve some of the world’s biggest challenges.
Oxford Quantum Circuits (OQC), which is showcasing at the GIS, has also announced it is raising $106m for R&D projects.
BioNTech, an international leader in the biotechnology industry and developer of the first mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccine, has announced it intends to expand its global R&D activities with a new laboratory in Cambridge as well as a centre of expertise for artificial intelligence in London.
This will be implemented through a rolling 10-year investment of approximately £1bn, creating an additional 400 highly skilled jobs. It follows a major agreement between the Government and BioNTech SE this summer to provide up to 10,000 patients with precision cancer immunotherapies by 2030.
Meanwhile a £1bn investment from Dutch company Yondr will also turbocharge the UK’s tech and data capabilities, with a new 30MW data centre in Slough that will create over 3,500 jobs, and clean energy-tech company Aira will also spur levelling up across the country by investing £300m into heat pump rollouts, new jobs and upskilling.
The investment will support their goal of helping one million UK customers switch from gas boilers to heat pumps, create 8,000 green jobs and expand their Aira Academies to train and upskill plumbers and electricians for product installation.
In a further boost for communities, PATRIZIA have announced £100m for the development of highly sustainable affordable and social housing in England to increase supply of quality housing at affordable prices around London and the south east of England.
The programme has commenced with an investment to fund the development of 70 affordable homes in Milton Keynes.
In a move to spur even more innovation and investment, the Government is also announcing the creation of three new regulatory sandboxes for hydrogen-powered aviation, autonomous marine vessels and drones, with Innovate UK launching a £110m Investor Partnership for UK science and tech SMEs.
The Department for Business & Trade have also convened an expert panel chaired by Professor Vanessa Knapp to explore options for a UK corporate re-domiciliation regime to make it easier for foreign companies to relocate to the UK.