North East England – a powerful investment offer

With a potent combination of a highly skilled, cost competitive workforce and plentiful Grade A office accommodation, North East England Works for financial, professional and business services.

Many of the world’s premier financial, professional and business services (FPBS) companies choose to call North East England home.

A well-established and growing cluster of 17,500 companies including corporate giants Santander, Convergys, KPMG, P&G and HP, thrive in a supportive environment geared to their success.

The sector employs more than 130,000 people with the region boasting particular strengths in customer contact centres and legal, financial and insurance services.

More and more companies are choosing North East England to meet their expansion and investment requirements for business processing, outsourcing, back and middle offices, tax and advisory centres.

Investors are able to draw on a graduate-rich, highly skilled and loyal talent pool for their workforce in an economy which prides itself on its academic collaboration.

More than 30,000 students are studying on one of the 290 FPBS related courses at the North East’s five universities and 15 further education colleges.

North East England also boasts the highest proportion of students studying STEM subjects in the UK, and the country’s fastest growing tech cluster outside London with strengths in data management, analytics and software development.

Guy Currey, Invest North East England Director, said:

“North East England has an unrivalled business offer for FPBS companies looking to expand and relocate in the UK.

“The North East has some of the lowest worker attrition rates in the UK which provides companies with the confidence to recruit, train and retain their most valuable asset – their workforce.

“The quality of life and standard of living remains one of the highest in the UK. This work/life balance results in unparalleled staff loyalty to the company and to the North East.”

North East England is one of the least expensive places in Europe to hire FPBS staff.

The typical cost saving is 14% compared to London for a customer services representative and a 2% to 3% saving compared to Scotland and Cardiff.

Consequently, global firms including Barclays, EE, EDF Energy and Tesco Bank support a range of sectors from North East England bases as direct, third party and shared service centres.

A Financial Times Benchmarking Study confirmed North East England as the UK’s most cost competitive location for business and talent – savings of over £9m per year for a 350-person customer contact centre operation compared to London.

It offers huge cost savings in comparison to other parts of the UK, with Grade A office accommodation including Cobalt Park, the largest office park in the UK, available for approximately £16 per sqft, whilst Grade A Newcastle city centre rents are no more than £22 per sqft.

Construction giant Balfour Beatty relocated key elements of its operation from London choosing Quorum Business Park in North Tyneside as the base for its new customer support centre called WorkSmart.

“The North East of England was selected by Balfour Beatty as it provided a skilled and flexible workforce and the best supply of buildings in the UK suitable for the new facility,” said Ian Dawson, Business Services Director at Balfour Beatty.

“We are thrilled with the team we have been able to build here. Savings achieved in the first year following our move exceeded £15m and headcount has grown beyond initial estimates to around 450 as new Shared Services have been added.”

All business park locations have superb infrastructure links with access to the main A1 and A19 highways.

The Tyne and Wear conurbation is served by the largest rapid transit system outside London – The Tyne and Wear Metro, with 60 stations across the area linking Newcastle International Airport to Central Newcastle, Sunderland and many of the key office parks. This is one of the main reasons that the area is one of the least congested major city regions in the UK with the shortest average commuting times.

There are numerous daily flights from Newcastle to London, while regular trains to the capital on the East Coast Main Line arrive in less than three hours.

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