A new Financial Times report has named Manchester the best city in Europe for business-friendliness. The fDi European Cities and Regions of the Future 2020/21 report also ranks Manchester highly in a number of other categories, proving it to be a great prospect for investors over the next year.
Thanks to its key position in the Northern Powerhouse, Manchester has held its own during the recent political and economic uncertainties. As well as reaching the top ranking for business, Manchester is listed as the number five city of the future in Europe overall. Manchester is the best performing non-German city in the list, with only Frankfurt, Hamburg, Dusseldorf and Stuttgart coming in front.
Manchester isn’t the only UK city that performed well for business-friendliness. Leeds came in 3rd, Glasgow 4th, Sheffield 6th, and Birmingham 8th. This is great news for UK business and investors alike.
An Abundance of Business Opportunities in Manchester
One of the reasons Manchester was ranked so highly for business is the increasing amount of “north-shoring”. Growing numbers of businesses have relocated to Manchester in recent years, taking advantage of its cheaper commercial rents and impressive talent pool of new graduates and young professionals.
These big employers are drawing more people to the city in search of excellent career opportunities and a better quality of life than in other major UK cities – especially London. Manchester’s population forecast proves this to be the case, as 100,000 more residents are expected in the city by 2025.
Manchester also performed well in the report’s connectivity and economic potential categories. It came in second place for connectivity, behind only Rotterdam in the Netherlands. Manchester’s international airport connects the city to the rest of Europe and beyond. The recently-approved HS2 and Northern Powerhouse Rail projects will see its already excellent domestic train services improved even further.
For economic potential Manchester is the only UK city in the top 10, coming in at 9th place. The Greater Manchester GVA is around £62.8 billion, with other 1.3 million people in employment. Operating costs in the city are 40% lower than London, creating great opportunities for future growth and investment.
With increasing growth and population numbers comes increasing demand in Manchester’s property market. There is huge residential construction happening in the city. With the number of property schemes set to complete this year likely to break the current record set in 2019.
The rental and buy-to-let sector is expected to continue to thrive in Manchester. The city is currently one of the best places to be a buy-to-let landlord due to favourable house prices, excellent rental yields and high residential demand.