The future is bright for Essex SMEs attracting FDI

Invest ESSEX Location Services Director David Rooke believes the recently published Ernst & Young UK Attractiveness Survey 2019 has provided a welcome boost to SMEs in the county 

The Survey released in Q2 saw Essex produce a 93% increase in completed foreign direct investment (FDI) projects, completing 27 FDI projects in 2018 compared to 14 in 2017.

Many of the successes were achieved by SMEs, with Rooke telling SMEWeb that there is no reason to believe the upward curve cannot be maintained over the years ahead.

billion to the UK economy,” said David Rooke. “Therefore, despite concerns over a post-Brexit world, the importance of encouraging SMEs to grow must not be underestimated and Invest ESSEX is doing all it can to support SME business growth in Essex with a team of sector and funding specialists.”

Invest ESSEX is an investment promotion agency (IPA) and business support provider, promoting the opportunity of Essex as a prime UK business location to international and UK companies. It also offers a full impartial assessment of finance needs by their SME funding specialists, helping review all options to find tailor-made solutions for businesses.

As a result, Invest ESSEX played its part in a number of the county’s SME FDI projects in 2018.

Among the most eye-catching of the Essex FDI projects over the last 12 months was Indian automobile group Bharat Forge’s investment of £10 million into Chelmsford-based Tevva Motors, who provide powertrain solutions for electric trucks.

Other recent major FDI activity in Essex includes that of Teledyne e2v – a global leader in specialised components and subsystems for innovative solutions in medical, science, aerospace, defence and industrial applications – with a planned space imaging innovation – park on their Chelmsford site.

During May 2019, there was an announcement of the first delivery milestone for the supply of their CCD Bruyères image sensors to be used in the European Space Agency’s PLATO Mission.

David Rooke added, “The increase in FDI projects over the last year demonstrates that Essex, uniquely adjoining both major international business hubs of London and Cambridge, can provide the ideal investment location for many overseas companies.”

With journey times of approximately 30 minutes from the City of Chelmsford to London by road or rail, home to two London airports (London Stansted, with its growing long haul connectivity, and London Southend), ports including Tilbury, DP World’s London Gateway and Harwich International and the planned arrival of Crossrail, the county offers immediate access to London without the prohibitive costs of a base in the Capital.

For more information on Invest ESSEX’s SME business growth plans or opportunities in the region please visit