Manchester’s Momentum: Unveiling the Economic Blueprint

November 29, 2023

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Manchester investment opportunity

Article Summary

Manchester
  • This revitalised economic strategy seeks to build upon the extraordinary transformation Manchester has undergone over the past 25 years.

  • The strategy seeks to attract investment in the highest growth and most productive sectors, such as financial and professional services, tech, and life sciences.

  • The strategy underscores the importance of connecting new businesses and investors with partners who can help ensure training and employment opportunities for local people.

Introduction

On November 28, 2023, the Manchester City Council unveiled a visionary 10-year plan, titled “Investing In Success,” outlining the trajectory for the city’s economic growth and commitment to inclusivity. This revitalised economic strategy seeks to build upon the extraordinary transformation Manchester has undergone over the past 25 years — a journey from post-industrial decline to a thriving metropolis with a growing population, an expanded and highly skilled workforce, and a diversified economy that attracts talent, investments, and visitors from around the world.

 

Exponential Growth

Over this transformative period, Manchester’s population surged from 503,000 (according to the 2011 Census) to an estimated 607,000, marking a remarkable 20% increase in just twelve years. The city, particularly its centre, plays a pivotal role in Greater Manchester’s economy, boasting an annual GDP of £86 billion, a figure comparable to major global cities such as Vancouver, Lyon, and Rotterdam, and slightly surpassing that of Birmingham.

Between 2011 and 2021, Manchester witnessed the most substantial increase in GDP per capita among the UK’s major cities, rising by an impressive 44%, from £35,739 to £51,330. During the same period, the number of businesses surged from approximately 17,000 to around 23,500, while the workforce expanded from 350,000 to 426,000 by 2022. Other noteworthy indicators of progress include the achievement of over 90% of schools being rated as good or outstanding and 45% of residents now educated to degree level.

Bolstered by these robust economic foundations, the Manchester City Council has recognised the imperative of shaping the city’s future growth with a focus on inclusivity and a steadfast commitment to achieving zero carbon by 2038. The strategy is framed around five priority themes that articulate the city’s vision for sustainable and inclusive growth.

Utilising Investment and Development for Inclusive Growth

Recognising the city centre as the main driver of growth in Manchester and the wider city region, the strategy emphasises the fundamental role of growing the size of the city centre in increasing Manchester’s overall prosperity. Simultaneously, it underscores the importance of ensuring high-quality, liveable neighbourhoods across the city. This involves large-scale regeneration projects, such as those around North Manchester Hospital/Victoria North and Wythenshawe Hospital, including economic assets that enable places to thrive.

 

Nurturing Thriving, Productive, and Innovative Sectors

The strategy seeks to attract investment in the highest growth and most productive sectors, such as financial and professional services, tech, and life sciences. It also emphasises growing and promoting current and future knowledge-intensive industries, including AI, cyber, FinTech, and genomics. The goal is to not only attract investments but also to develop the green economy for a sustainable future.

 

Developing World-Class Infrastructure, Places, and Talent

The plan involves meticulous planning and delivery of physical and digital infrastructure to support businesses and ensure the city is an excellent place to locate and for workers to live. This includes collaborating with Transport for Greater Manchester to implement the Bee Network, connecting more people to employment and training opportunities via public transport, cycling, or other forms of active travel. The city’s Housing Strategy, targeting 36,000 new homes by 2032, is integral to this, with a focus on increasing housing density in areas with the best transport connections.

Transition to a Zero Carbon and Resilient Economy

A key pillar of the strategy is supporting the city’s ambitious goal of becoming zero carbon by 2038. This commitment aligns with the global imperative to combat and adapt to the impacts of climate change. The strategy embraces ‘green growth’ opportunities in areas such as housing retrofit, energy, transport, and research. Ensuring that other sectors are as sustainable as possible is equally vital. Measures include developing a Manchester standard for net-zero construction through the city’s new Local Plan.

 

Include More People in Economic Opportunity

The strategy underscores the importance of connecting new businesses and investors with partners who can help ensure training and employment opportunities for local people. This includes implementing bespoke community economic development plans for areas undergoing large-scale regeneration projects to maximise local benefits. The city is committed to maximising the social value of employment, encouraging all employers to pay the Real Living Wage and recruit locally whenever possible.

The strategy launch event took place at Roku’s offices in Circle Square, serving as an exemplar of recent investments in the region and showcasing the city’s burgeoning tech sector. This symbolic setting highlights Manchester’s commitment to innovation and growth in key economic sectors.

 

Conclusion

In conclusion, the “Investing In Success” strategy is a comprehensive roadmap that not only recognises Manchester’s remarkable economic journey but also sets ambitious goals for the future. By prioritising inclusive growth, innovation, sustainability, and community engagement, Manchester aims to continue its trajectory as a dynamic and resilient global city. This strategy is not merely a plan for economic development; it’s a commitment to building a future where prosperity is shared, opportunities are accessible to all, and the city remains a beacon of progress and sustainability.

To find out about more of some of the most attractive new-build and regeneration projects that Manchester has to offer, click here.

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