Tech sector drives demand for Manchester office space 

Manchester Ranks 2nd for Foreign Direct Investment in BFPG Report

The British Foreign Policy Group (BFPG) has released its 2019 report and paints a vibrant picture of modern Manchester as a global city in the making. 

After London, Manchester is England’s most visited city with a growing tourism economy attracting more international and business visitors than all English cities other than London.  In 2018, Manchester’s revenue from tourism reached over £8.1bn. 

The BFPG’s report confirmed that Greater Manchester ranks second in receiving Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) with the current level now an estimated £2.7 billion with international trade worth £5.36 billion in value of goods. 

The foreword to the report has been written by Sir Howard Bernstein, now strategic advisor to Deloitte, Sir Howard Bernstein is one of the chief architects of Manchester’s resurgence over the last four decades.  Formerly Chief Executive of Manchester City Council (1998-2017) and former Head of Paid Service for the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (2011-2017).   

Sir Howard Bernstein comments: “For Manchester, challenge always brings opportunity. One of our strengths as a city is our ability to adapt and reinvent, as we have seen with digital, creative and service industries, along with cultural and education assets, successfully replacing our industrial past. 

Manchester’s aim to promote its global fluency through increasing international access and connectivity is key to its sustained growth and economy.  Successfully leading the way for FINTEC’s, as well as leading international corporates has contributed to raising its international profile.   

The BFPG report highlights that the functions of inward investment, tourism promotion, trade development, and talent attraction come together through strong and strategically integrated agencies. Marketing Manchester, MIDAS, The Manchester China Forum and others all coordinate through the Growth Company to set a vision and strategy to promote the city internationally. 

The city’s rapid escalation of employment opportunities, the large university demographic, rejuvenation and development of residential, commercial and mixeduse projects, are all factors that boost investment from overseas, particularly in build-to-rent and buy-to-let opportunities on a large scale.  Manchester is seen as offering greater scope and potential than London for property investors looking for realistic longterm opportunities. 

Currently, Manchester is leading the way with the highest growth in house prices and the MEN recorded that the average cost of renting in Manchester has gone up by 30% since 2015.  

According to research compiled by Hometrack, the average house price in Manchester itself is now £168,900, almost eight times higher than the average salary.  A significant surge in growth at 6.6% compared to a year earlier. This February, the most expensive house in Greater Manchester sold for £1.04 million.  

Sir Howard Bernstein said in the BFPG report: “Now is a good time for our city to reflect on where next. This report is a useful reminder that we’ve come a long way on many fronts.”

Read the full report here.


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