Foreign Direct Investment in the North

11 October 2016
What was claimed

Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) has increased at twice the rate in the North as in the rest of the country.

Our verdict

It's correct that the number of deals has increased at twice the rate. We don’t know how much each of these investment deals was worth.

"Thanks to George Osborne’s Northern Powerhouse, over the past year, foreign direct investment in the North has increased at double the rate of the rest of the country."

Theresa May, 5 October 2016

It’s not the first time that Theresa May has made this claim. But we weren't sure whether it referred to the total value of foreign investment, the value of new investments or just the number of investment projects.

We contacted the Conservative party who told us that the Prime Minister was referring to the increase in the number of deals being made in the North, compared to the UK as a whole.

It’s correct that the total number of foreign direct investment deals made in the UK increased by 11% in 2015/16, compared to the previous year. Meanwhile, the government has said the number of deals in the North East, North West and Yorkshire and Humber regions increased by 24%—so about double the rate.

But that doesn’t tell us how much each of these investment deals was worth. Some of them might have been very large investments, others small. A change in the number of investment deals might not mean that there’s been an identical change in the value of money invested.

The Office for National Statistics told us that they don’t publish estimates for the value of foreign direct investment particular regions. So we don’t know how the value of foreign direct investment in different regions compares, or how it changes from year to year.



This factcheck was updated on 11 October 2016 after the Conservative Party responded to our enquiry. 

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