Spotlight on Manchester

With our head office just off Deansgate in Manchester, we’ve put the spotlight on the city as it emerges from a period of significant growth.

Manchester is the second most visited city in the UK and according to Joanne Roney, Chief Executive at the council, the city is attracting major occupiers out of London with the lower rents, abundance of graduate talent and attracting staff with a better standard of living. The average rent for a two bedroom flat per month is £1,056, compared to £2,165 in London**.

According to the think tank Centre for Cities Manchester saw the fastest growth in England and Wales between 2002 and 2015 with the population increasing by 149% and jobs rising by 84%. The average age of Manchester’s population is 30, with nearly 39% of the population aged between 18-35*.

The city has ambitious growth plans, with schemes underway to provide high-quality commercial space. Landmark by St Peter’s Square, in Manchester’s premier business district, was completed this summer and is reported to have set the record for the highest rent charges in the city.

Landmark, Manchester

With over 800,000 sq ft of office lettings in Manchester during the first half of this year, it’s the highest office take-up outside London. Manchester also tops the number of co-working offices at 187, well above the likes of Liverpool at 76 and Leeds at 112^. The average cost of a flexible office is £330 per month in Manchester which is 25% more than Birmingham and 40% more than Liverpool^. Employment has also grown to Q1 2019 by 1.4% (London 1%), with the Professional, Scientific and Technical sector accounting for the largest proportion of all jobs^^.

It’s not just the city centre that needs to benefit from this growth but the entire Greater Manchester region. Jane Boardman, the President of Greater Manchester Chamber concedes “There are some fantastic things going on across the whole of Greater Manchester but too much business activity is still centred on the city centre. We need to be careful we don’t further the disparities and increase the divide across the region.”

Historically while the centre has developed, the surrounding areas haven’t followed a similar pattern. Projects like Salford City Council teaming up with the University of Salford to seek a private partner to deliver the £800 million Salford Crescent plan and the £1 million regeneration scheme in Bolton all show the wider investment happening in the region now.

Andy Burnham said in 2018 “I want Manchester to be the UK’s leading tech and digital centre and this new tech incubator takes the city to another level, because if we are going to be a leader in this industry we have to build an ecosystem that supports businesses at every level, from start-up to the biggest players too. We also need to build a culture of collaboration across the sector, and the whole city region to achieve our ambitions.” This looks to be underway with the University of Manchester seeking a development partner for its £1.5 billion innovation district which will see a 26 acre site developed. 

Vantage is a premier independent building consultancy covering the whole of the UK. We’re expanding the team and looking for the best building surveyor in Manchester. Is that you or know someone you would recommend? Contact us for an informal chat.

*Population as of 2018
^The Instant Group
**Hometrack, Zoopla
^^Manchester City Council census