** 2021 UPDATE **
Since the initial publication of this article in 2020, Manchester has continued to grow faster than anywhere else in the UK even in spite of the Covid-19 pandemic. The population is growing, the economy is booming and investment is up. The property market is hitting record highs and rents are climbing. This is the ideal time to invest in Manchester.
2019 was an incredible year for Manchester. The city’s economy is booming and its population is growing at a rapid pace, leaving us to wonder just how much Manchester can achieve in 2020. So far, the signs are extremely positive, with a collection of announcements in January showing the progressive momentum Manchester has taken into the new decade.
Manchester signs a tourism partnership with New York
The first ever city-to-city partnership agreement was signed between Manchester and New York in January. It means that the two cities will work together on a number of marketing plans focussed on areas including art and sport in order to boost tourism between the two.
Both cities are recognised as being globally influential, making this a natural partnership which is sure to be productive.
Sheona Southern, Managing Director of Marketing Manchester, said: “New York City is one of the top tourism destinations in the world and to be able to align ourselves with a city that we have so much in common with – especially in respect to being open, diverse and welcome destinations – is a huge coup and speaks volumes about Manchester’s increasing global profile.
“Marketing Manchester has been delivering strategic and tactical marketing in the USA for many years and this formal partnership – based on an agreement to share insights and intelligence, connections and collaboration opportunities and access to media infrastructure – is particularly significant as Virgin Atlantic will this year increase capacity by 65% on their non-stop flight to/from Manchester Airport/John F. Kennedy International Airport.”
As part of this deal, Manchester and New York will develop joint tourism opportunities and exchange marketing assets, such as billboard advertising, worth US$500,000. As tourism grows, more money will pour into Manchester and the city as a whole will benefit.
Amazon moves into its Manchester office
Amazon has officially moved into Manchester, opening its first UK office outside London with plans to employ more than 600 people. Bringing these highly-skilled jobs to Manchester demonstrates how it has grown into a globally significant business destination.
Additionally, the company has announced a Future Engineer Bursary which will provide selected students with £3,500 for their undergraduate studies in computer science at the University of Manchester. This further investment in Manchester’s future is a welcome move and a show of confidence in the city.
“I am delighted we’re opening our first corporate office in the North of England today,” said Doug Gurr, UK country manager at Amazon.
He continued: “Manchester offers an incredible talent pool, a thriving hub of fast-growing UK tech start-ups and is a centre of academic and intellectual excellence. We are already actively hiring from all a range of skillsets for our new Manchester office, so if you’ve always wanted to build the future, come build it with us.”
Manchester Local Plan set for overhaul
The Manchester Local Plan sets out the city’s development strategy for the next 15-20 years and will replace the city’s current Core Strategy which was released in 2012. The need for a new plan so soon reflects the sheer scale of how much Manchester has achieved since that original plan was released.
This plan will act as a framework for new building and investment to meet Manchester’s ambitions to become a world-class city – a status that will be achieved by 2025 according to the City Council’s recent State of the City Report 2019.
Other areas covered in the Local Plan will include making Manchester a zero-carbon city by 2038 and formulating a sustainable transport policy.
Cllr Angeliki Stogia, Manchester City Council’s executive member for environment, planning and transport, said: “Developing a new Local Plan is a vital process that will shape where new homes will be built, where new employment opportunities will be created, what amenities are needed and the transport infrastructure that connect the entire city.
“This is a plan that will touch all of our lives in the next two decades, so we are keen to hear from as many people as possible about the issues they face – as well as potential options to improve them – and make sure everyone has a chance to shape our city.”
£1.4bn Mayfield masterplan revealed
Mayfield is one of the most highly anticipated developments in Manchester. The 30-acre, £1.4bn site has been largely unused for decades, but is now set to become one of the city’s premier city centre hubs.
The scheme includes a 650-bed hotel, 1.7m sqft of new office space and Manchester’s first new park in more than a century. Property Week reports that stakeholders are confident that construction will begin later in 2020.
A consequence of the exciting Mayfield development is that property values in the area are already shooting up in anticipation of the area becoming one of the most desirable neighbourhoods in Manchester.