Those looking to diversify their property portfolios are increasingly favouring opportunities outside of the capital. Widely referred to as the ‘Northern Light of the UK economy, Manchester is fast becoming the next port of call for residential and commercial investment thanks to sustainable expansion plans.
With solid roots in industry and manufacturing, Manchester boasts a unique history that’s littered with innovation, radicalisation and prolific contributions to our culture. The vibrant business community in this urban pocket of England is the force that drives the fiscal success of the North. In fact, Manchester is going through something of an industrial revolution, boasting the UK’s largest professional services sector outside of London and becoming a magnet for companies in the digital and creative industries.
But campaigns to develop and regenerate Manchester in the coming years are only going to increase demand for property and establish it as a real force to be reckoned with in not only the domestic, but also the global, economy.
Planned investment in the Northern Powerhouse
In 2014’s Autumn Statement, the government announced that it will be placing £7 billion of investment into Manchester with a view to creating a ‘Northern Powerhouse’ economy that will balance the North/South divide and instigate development projects that will rival those currently found in the capital. The money will be primarily invested in science, transport and infrastructure in order to improve links between major commercial hubs in the North, including Liverpool, Sheffield and Newcastle further to the East.
Better roads and faster trains will bring more capacity to the region, improving connectivity in an area that’s increasingly in demand. More robust investment into research centres and cultural projects will also strengthen Manchester’s position as one of the biggest contributors to the nation’s economy – according to recent figures, the Greater Manchester area brings a Gross Value Add (GVA) of £51 billion to the country in terms of the value of its good and services, and forecasters predict that this is set to grow by an average of 3% a year up to 2023.
The key areas for private investment
Investors are already looking to several key developments in Manchester for exciting new opportunities:
MediaCityUK has attracted a great deal of attention from both residential and commercial investors in the three years since its completion. This 200-acre media hub in Salford is the new home of both the BBC and ITV and headquarters hundreds of businesses, many of which lie within the media sector.
Corridor Manchester, a council venture that’s supported by several of the region’s leading universities, aims to create the largest academic campus in the country and the largest clinical academic campus in Europe. The Corridor, which spans 600 acres, already employs nearly 20% of Manchester’s workforce and its output is forecasted to almost double in the next five years.
Expansion is underway at Airport City Enterprise Zone thanks to an £800 million investment from the Beijing Construction Engineering Group. Once a range of new facilities have been added, it’s likely that the airport will be able to welcome around 36 million passengers a year by 2030. The UK government will introduce similar ‘Enterprise’ schemes around the country in a bid to encourage businesses to locate to up-and-coming areas.
There’s no doubt that Manchester is fast becoming one of the UK’s major property investment markets. Investors need to act now to capitalise on the growth and expansion of this thriving region. Surrenden Invest specialises in sourcing high-yield off-plan developments in Manchester and our consultants will be happy to discuss current opportunities in the city.