Middlesbrough’s soaring up the European league table – and the best is yet to come.

That’s the message from Middlesbrough Mayor Andy Preston as the town’s burgeoning growth lands more international accolades.

The town has leapt to joint third place in the Financial Times’ European Cities and Regions of the Future report which ranks small cities with the best long-term investment potential.

The influential listing looks at potential for foreign direct investment (fDi), with Middlesbrough climbing strongly from ninth position in 2018/19.

The recognition highlights the town’s potential to attract foreign investment and showcases the area’s ambition and regeneration opportunities.

Data on economic potential, the local workforce and lifestyle, cost effectiveness, connectivity and business friendliness was assessed alongside a submission from Middlesbrough Council on its FDI strategy.

Middlesbrough Mayor Andy Preston said: “This is yet another ringing endorsement for the huge leaps forward we’re making, and the boundless ambition we have for Middlesbrough.

“We know we’re a city in all but name, but this is independent validation of that aspiration, and proof that we’re a match for towns and cities across Europe and beyond.

“Our momentum is unstoppable, and accolades like this will only help generate further investment, jobs and prosperity.

“Despite the challenges of the past two years we’re cracking on and repositioning Middlesbrough as a regional hub for jobs, living and leisure.

“We’re building new homes and schools and attracting new businesses to the heart of our town.

“Within months the first new leisure developments in Captain Cook Square will open.

“Middlesbrough is making huge leaps forward in terms of investment, construction and, most importantly, jobs.

“And the best really is yet to come.”

The town’s emergence as a digital powerhouse with truly global reach is epitomised by state-of-the-art developments at Middlehaven which are already attracting high levels of interest from cutting-edge tech firms.

The £2.5 million Boho 8 complex was completed last year, with bespoke modular units providing additional space for rapidly expanding companies in Boho One and Boho 5, as well as attracting new digital and creative businesses to the area.

Work is also well under way on the striking £20m-plus seven-storey Boho X building.

Due for completion later this year, the building will act as a regional and national focal point for the digital sector, and as a catalyst for social, economic and environmental change across the region.

NorthLink Digital was one of the first firms to move into Boho 8 as part of its bold expansion plans.

Founder and chief executive officer Graham Orrell said the latest recognition underlined Middlesbrough’s momentum.

“Middlesbrough is becoming known as a place where digital businesses exist and are growing,” he said.

“Previously if you were thinking about tech hot spots in the North you would think about Leeds and Newcastle – now Middlesbrough is deservedly getting itself onto that list.”

Other runaway success stories include the Tees Advanced Manufacturing Park (TeesAMP) on Middlesbrough’s Riverside Park, with full occupation of the first phase set to trigger a second phase which will bring further innovative manufacturing companies to the region.

More information is available on the We are Middlesbrough website.