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New tactics to entice businesses to York
YORK’S council leader has vowed to try to lure more big companies to York, in a bid to create hundreds more jobs for the city.
Coun James Alexander has said it is not good enough for York to wait for firms to consider relocating, and said the city council must instead proactively identify companies and persuade them they should move.
In a written report ahead of a council meeting on Thursday, Coun Alexander referred to the investment of international insurance company Hiscox in moving to York which followed a series of meetings with City of York Council and York and North Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce. The company’s new office planned for the Hungate area of the city will create 300 new jobs.
Coun Alexander said: “Although we have shown we can respond to opportunities quickly, we as yet are not creating enough of these opportunities ourselves. I have come to the conclusion that the only reason a company relocates is to be closer to its supply chain and the labour it requires. I have therefore instructed our economic development team to survey York’s top companies and find out who their top suppliers are. If there is commonality and if York is a leader in the field of that business, then we will begin to aggressively target those companies to locate to York.”
Susie Cawood, head of York and North Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce, welcomed the council’s stance.
She said: “The Chamber is pro-business, pro-development and pro-growth, and inward investment is essential for York’s economy to grow and prosper. We are therefore supportive of the council’s proactive attitude.”
Coun Alexander also said in his report that economic links are being made with Nanjing and Chongqing in China, the Philippines, Chicago and Dijon.
He said that following a visit to the French city by himself and Lord Mayor Coun Keith Hyman last month, a delegation from the Burgundy Chamber of Commerce is expected to visit York for meetings to develop relationships.
As reported in The Press, Hiscox’s move to invest in York has been the result of more than a year’s efforts, involving meetings between the firm’s chief officers, York council representatives and chamber of commerce officials.