HAMPSHIRE has been recognised as one of the most promising investment locations in Europe, according to an international study.

The research by fDi Intelligence has commended the county for having particular strengths in terms of business friendliness and encouraging foreign investment.

The findings were part of the annual fDi European Cities and Regions of the Future 2014/15 rankings.

It was in the top 25 European regions overall, top 10 small European regions, top 10 small European regions for its business friendliness

Significant recent investment being made by overseas owned companies across Hampshire has strengthened the county’s credentials as a successful and prosperous business location.

This includes US-owned GE Aviation’s plans to expand their aircraft component plant in Hamble and German supermarket chain Lidl investing in a major distribution facility, creating 400 jobs in Nursling.

Kuehne & Nagel, the Swiss logistics company has also located its south coast drinks operation to Eastleigh while French mobile device insurance company SPB moved its new UK headquarters into Portsmouth.

These are just some of the companies demonstrating confidence in Hampshire as a ‘region of the future’.

County economy, transport and environment boss Councillor Seán Woodward said: “We are delighted to see Hampshire recognised as both a region with a clear strategy for attracting and retaining inward investment, and at the same time being business friendly.

“Invest in Hampshire is just one of our initiatives which positions Hampshire as a leading location for business, supporting key employers while helping create more jobs locally.

“Through our Invest in Hampshire and Visit Hampshire activities, we will continue to ensure that Hampshire remains a prosperous county, and at the same time retains its superb environment and quality of life.”

This accolade for Hampshire comes hot on the heels of Southampton being ranked at number four in PWC’s Good Growth for Cities report.