The north-west of England has ranked among the top 10 places globally for its startup ecosystem. As business prospects continue to excel, infrastructure, housing and investment are following suit in Manchester and Liverpool.
In the latest report looking at ecosystems for startups internationally by Startup Genome, the Manchester-Liverpool region ranked ninth out of 270 places as an emerging location. The study looked in detail at a wide range of factors across each destination, while also assessing the “new normal” for the economy and the impact of COVID-19.
The Manchester-Liverpool area scored particularly highly for performance and local talent in the region. It also received high scores for funding and market reach. According to the report, it is these ’emerging’ areas that should be a key focus for post-COVID recovery.
“We need a new normal for economic development, where we are supporting the technology economy just as much as we were supporting traditional small businesses and traditional industries like airlines,” says the study.
“This is especially true for ecosystems that are not at the very top and do not have the decades of experience, talent, and capital to draw upon during times of crisis.”
Resilience in the north-west
Manchester-Liverpool came in fifth position in the list of emerging locations out of 38 European cities. As an overall ecosystem, the region came in second in the UK, with London taking top spot. The north-west hotspot also placed ahead of the likes of Dubai, Moscow and Hamburg in the list.
The value of its ecosystem is an estimated $9.2bn, says the report. Global connectivity, a huge concentration of venture capital and successful university spin-offs all contributed to the success. There is also a high proportion of STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) graduates living and working in the area.
Tim Newns, CEO of MIDAS, Manchester’s inward investment agency, said: “Manchester’s resilience has been tested like never before during the COVID crisis.
“This report demonstrates how well Manchester is perceived globally and as we build back better it will be the entrepreneurs and start-ups grown and attracted here who play a key role in shaping the future of our region.”
Strong economy and housing market
This isn’t the first time the area has appeared as a top place for business and investment. Earlier this year, a Financial Times report named Manchester the most “business-friendly” place in Europe.
The report – fDi European Cities and Regions of the Future 2020/21 – looked at all the major cities in Europe. Impressively, Manchester came in fifth place overall for best-performing cities of the future. Four German cities – Frankfurt, Hamburg, Dusseldorf and Stuttgart – head up the list.
For its economic potential, Manchester also appeared in the top 10 list of large European cities. It sits in 9th place, and is the only UK city to appear at the head of the rankings. Greater Manchester’s GVA is around £62.8bn, with 1,322,200 people in employment. Operating costs are also an estimated 40% lower than London (figures from Invest in Manchester). The fact that it ranks highly in the latest list shows its promising future potential.
The Manchester property market is making big strides to keep up with the continually growing demand. The volume of property schemes forecast to complete this year is likely to break the current record for 2019, according to Deloitte. This includes a projected 8,800 residential units.
With an expanding job market, the rental sector in the city is thriving. Manchester is currently tipped as one of the best places in the UK to be a buy-to-let landlord. House prices, rental yields and residential demand are all favourable in the city, and there are opportunities for every investor.