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New Unit to promote the Thames Gateway on the International Stage is launched

26 November 2008

Marketing the Thames Gateway as a single unified Region to global inward Investors is one of the key remits of a new Inward Investment unit unveiled at the Thames Gateway Forum today.

Invest Thames Gateway, the new service which is being launched by the 3 Thames Gateway Regional Development Agencies (RDAs) - SEEDA, EEDA and the LDA - with substantial funding from the Communities and Local Government Department, will be responsible for the marketing and initial enquiry handling for all International Inward Investment into the Thames Gateway.

The new service will ensure all agencies involved in attracting inward investment to the Thames Gateway work together to provide a seamless customer experience.

This launch fulfils a commitment given by the RDAs in the Thames Gateway Economic Development Investment Plan (EDIP) published earlier this year. The Plan highlighted Inward Investment as a key driver of sustainable prosperity in the Thames Gateway. The RDAs and their partners will work together to significantly increase the level of Inward Investment into the area including a coordinated single point of contact for Inward Investment enquiries.

The new service is supported by a new unified Marketing proposition and brand identify, which will help to position the Thames Gateway in global investment markets as a single Region for the first time.

Commenting on the new service, Jeff Alexander, Executive Director of Competitiveness and Growth for SEEDA, and Chair of the Invest Thames Gateway on behalf of the 3 RDAs, said,"We are delighted to be ready to make this announcement today. This has been the culmination of a year’s planning and consultation with all the partners who have an interest in attracting Inward Investment into the Thames Gateway. The region has a great offer for potential inward investment and through coordinating both marketing and the handling of enquiries, this service will help ensure that this potential is fully realised."

Welcoming the renewed commitment of the RDAs to the new Inward Investment service, Thames Gateway Minister Margaret Beckett said,

"We are backing the Thames Gateway's dedicated Inward Investment Service by investing £3 million over the next three years to support this important service.

"In these challenging times it is vital that we take steps to encourage investors to seize the many economic opportunities in the Gateway. By taking a co-ordinated approach to marketing the Thames Gateway as a competitive UK business location we can increase the number of jobs created in the region over the long term."

Notes to Editors

Invest Thames Gateway is the new Inward Investment service launched by the 3 RDAs in the Thames Gateway. Based in Dartford, in the heart of the Thames Gateway, the unit will have a small executive team of 4 Inward Investment professionals with the responsibility of marketing the Region and providing a single point of contact for global inward investment enquiries. The unit will also work closely with existing Inward Investment organisations in the Gateway to support domestic inward investment enquiries. For further information, visit the website.

SEEDA - the South East England Development Agency, is the Government-funded agency responsible for the sustainable economic development and regeneration of the South East of England – the driving force of the UK economy. For further information, visit the website.

EEDA - the East of England Development Agency, is the driving force behind sustainable economic regeneration in the East of England: Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Norfolk and Suffolk. For further information, visit the website.

LDA - The London Development Agency aims to improve the quality of life for all Londoners - working to create jobs, develop skills and promote economic growth. For further information, visit the website.

For media enquiries, please contact:

Gareth John
Director, Invest Thames Gateway
Phone: +44 (0)1322 312190

or Clare Barnfather
Invest Thames Gateway
Phone: +44 (0)1322 312190

For more information please contact our press office

Tel: 01483 470155