Hundreds of jobs were created in the region through investment by foreign-owned companies during the last year.

A report by the Government's UK Trade and Investment agency found 28 projects by overseas companies were started in the region during 2013/14, which created 387 new jobs and safeguarded a further 1,040 positions.

The investments from across the globe have helped the UK achieve the highest number of inward investment projects since records began in the 1980s.

Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), which represents West Sussex, Brighton and Hove, Lewes and the Gatwick Diamond, said projects were spread across software and computer services, biotechnology and pharmaceuticals plus mechanical electrical and process engineering.

Ron Crank, Coast to Capital chief executive, said: “These results are a testament to the hard work we and our partners have been doing with UKTI to promote the region as an investment destination.

“It also shows that our strategy to attract investment in the region by creating one of the most business-friendly environments in the UK is the right one.”