UK regions receive welcome boost

Berkshire and South Yorkshire received a boost today with the news that American and Japanese firms are to invest in the regions.

More than 1,700 new jobs are to be created in Sheffield with a £83.5mpackage of investment, Trade and Industry Secretary Stephen Byersannounced today.

American company Insight, which markets computer hardware and software, is to build its new European headquarters in the city.

The package is reported to be made up of £67m capital investment by the company; £15m Regional Selective Assistance from the DTI and £1.5m from Yorkshire Forward, the Regional Development Agency.

In all, 1,757 new jobs – 735 of which will be in software programmingand development – will be created by June 2007. The project will alsosafeguard 267 other jobs in the Sheffield and Worksop area.

Insight Direct Worldwide, a subsidiary of Insight Enterprises, is a global direct marketer of brand name computers, hardware and software.

‘The investment is the largest-ever single inward investment intoYorkshire and Humber,’ said Graham Hall, Yorkshire Forward Chairman. ‘We are delighted to have attracted the largest ever and best quality inward investment project to the region.’

The project will establish a European headquarters, encompassing direct marketing operations, ISP and ASP services, focusing on the UK and Irishmarkets; back office support for Insight’s European operations; andsoftware development and support to the company on a global basis.

Byers has also announced that Matsushita Mobile Communication Development of Europe Ltd has chosen to set up its European R&D base in Berkshire.

More than 400 highly skilled new engineering jobs will be createdwithin two years when the mobile communications company opens its newengineering development centre in Thatcham from April 1 2001.

The new company will be responsible for developing Panasonic’s dual modephones for the GSM/3rd generation systems.

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