Manchester has established itself as the UK’s second city, often rivalling the capital for opportunities and growth. From population to property price rises to number of students, Manchester continues to outperform other cities in the UK. So, what makes Manchester so special? How has it managed to set itself so far ahead of other cities in the UK? We take a look at Manchester’s accomplishments and how it has become so good at overachieving.
Manchester was ranked number one in a recent study compiled by independent think tank Centre for Cities of jobs and population growth in the UK. With a population growth of 149% from 2002 to 2015 and jobs growth of 84% from 1998 to 2015, Manchester was way ahead of other UK cities. The renaissance in Manchester was obvious, with the think-tank crediting knowledge-based businesses choosing to be in regional city centres and increasing opportunities for Manchester residents.
Accolades such as being the top regional UK city for creative talent in 2017 also show that more and more people are choosing to live in Manchester because of the many opportunities on offer. Manchester certainly has a history of innovation and industry, with an impressive heritage including one of the very first passenger railways, the first programmable computer and the first free public library. This legacy of firsts has set Manchester up to celebrate pioneering and forward-thinking businesses and projects, leading to sustained growth. This progressive attitude has also seen Manchester win funding to become one of the UK’s first smart cities, with the founding of CityVerve set to propel the city into the future.
Manchester is a welcoming, world-class, multicultural city with a diverse population and many international businesses. One main area that Manchester (combined with Liverpool) has excelled in is attracting foreign investment and international backers. It is one of the top 10 cities in the world for foreign direct investment, with billions of pounds already invested and many huge projects in the pipeline. In 2017, Manchester was the recipient of nearly 50 foreign direct investment projects.
Second only to London, Manchester trumped its contemporaries and cities like Leeds and Newcastle fell way behind in the same category. Such high levels of interest from global investors are also due to Manchester’s great international reputation and booming property market. Property investment companies like RW Invest have seen a marked rise in queries about Manchester from investors from around the world, from China to Israel, showing that Manchester really does have an international appeal.
Manchester also tops the tables when it comes to student population, with tens of thousands of young people choosing to further their education in the city. With a student population of 99,000, the city continues to attract the best and brightest students to its wealth of higher education institutions. It is incredibly high student retention rates show just how much students love the city and choose to stay. Manchester was also voted the best UK city to live in in 2018, beating London and many more international cities, earning an impressive 35th place on the Economist’s Global Liveability Index. These impressive accolades show that Manchester has managed to create a winning combination of growth, innovation and high living standards which continue to outperform its competitors.