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Leipzig targets UK companies after run of inward location successes

by jcp

March 16, Cannes. After an influx of major German and international businesses choosing Leipzig as the location for new operations, Germany’s fastest growing city is setting its sights on UK companies looking for a foothold in Europe post-Brexit.

Recently named top 3 big city by FDI for inward investment strategy, Leipzig continues to attract global companies because of its proximity to Berlin, good transport connection to major European cities, low rents, and young population. More than 500 tech companies have settled in Leipzig in the last ten years and the city is now home to 250 start-ups.

Speaking at MIPIM 2022, Clemens Schülke, the City of Leipzig’s Head of Economic Development, said:

“Leipzig ticks every box for businesses thinking about international expansion: outstanding connections to national and European transport networks, affordable commercial real estate and a talented workforce. Growing interest from UK companies after Brexit has encouraged us to develop new areas and provide more government support to British businesses.”

To attract foreign companies, the city launched Invest Region Leipzig, an economic development agency that helps businesses find suitable space, hire professional employees, connect with business and research partners, help companies smoothly relocate and apply for funding.

In 2019, Lancaster University opened a campus in Leipzig, providing EU students with an opportunity to get a UK degree avoiding Brexit constraints. In March 2022, Invest Region Leipzig confirmed that silicone hoses manufacturer Flexfab also moved its European logistics hub to Leipzig, as the region provides important competitive advantages compared to UK.

While there is growing interest in Leipzig from UK businesses, major German companies are also increasing their presence in the city. Skincare company Beiersdorf AG, a manufacturer of the global brand NIVEA, is about to open a new cosmetics production facility in Leipzig in 2022 and a new distribution hub in 2025. Together with the recent relocations of Amazon Air, BMW, battery systems manufacturer Dräxlmaier and Porsche EVs production factory to be constructed, this brings to the city of Leipzig €10bn of investments and creates 20,000 new jobs.

To attract more research institutions and innovators, Leipzig plans a new technology park, the EnergyCity Campus. The 13-hectare site will provide space for offices, laboratory and test facilities. Offering space for technical service providers and laboratories, spin-offs and start-ups, the campus will attract research institutes and technology companies focussing on energy-related research, the environment and sustainability.

Following the global demand for laboratory space, Leipzig plans to expand the BioCity Campus, which is home to a large part of Leipzig’s biotechnology and biomedicine cluster and combines the advantages of the direct proximity of research institutions and companies. By 2025, more office space, laboratories, workshops and conference rooms will be available in the Life Science Hub for biotech companies.

Apart from tech- and biotech companies the City of Leipzig targets logistics and industrial businesses. Together with Leipzig/Halle Airport it is planning the largest contiguous industrial area in Saxony. At the site, 100 hectares of potential for large-scale industrial settlements will be created at a premium location between the Porsche factory and the airport. The development plan process for “Radefelder Allee West” is under way.

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