a tall building next to a very tall building

The epithet “Capital of the North” isn’t bestowed upon Manchester by mere accident. This economic and cultural titan stands tall on the global stage as a potent centre for commercial endeavours. The appeal of Manchester extends beyond its rich industrial legacy, combining it with a variety of modern-day factors that make it a promising hub for business growth.

 Unveiling Manchester’s Appeal for Investors

The magnetic charm of Manchester has compelled numerous companies to explore the distinctive charm of this bustling metropolis. Among them is the independent legal entity, Brabners. Through an investigative analysis titled “Brabners Northern Investment Index“, it was discovered that the city is poised to overtake London as the UK’s premier corporate magnet in a few short years.

The study encompassed an extensive survey involving over 400 institutional investors domiciled in the UK and the US, shedding light on their investment aspirations and how these align with the business outlook in the North of England.

A remarkable revelation from the study was the intent of half of the investors to bolster their investment in the North this year, echoing the trend observed in 2022.


Moreover, the research underscored a paradigm shift in investment focal points. Traditionally, capital flow had been heavily concentrated on London, but a discernible movement towards other regions like Manchester, Liverpool, and Leeds was observed. This trend is driven by an increased interest from overseas investors, particularly from the US, the Arab Emirates, and Europe.

Economic Vigour: Unpacking Manchester’s £78.8 Billion GVA

One of the cornerstones of Manchester’s reputation is its Gross Value Added (GVA), which totals a formidable £78.8 billion, thereby heralding the city as the largest regional economy beyond the realms of London. This economic muscle, when paired with a diverse and superior selection of business premises, orchestrates a competitive arena for business endeavours.

The Gross Value Added (GVA) serves as a pivotal indicator to assess the economic productivity of a region, calculating the worth of produced goods and services while deducting the cost of goods and services expended in production.

A robust GVA reflects the vast array of economic ventures contributing to value creation. Manchester hosts a medley of industries such as manufacturing, professional services, retail, and a burgeoning digital and creative sector. This condition fosters inter-regional collaborations and further drives economic growth and development. Manchester’s economic size and significance also influence policy-making at both local and national levels to support sustained economic growth and development in the region.

Additionally, Manchester’s rapid growth is accompanied by a surge in commercial and residential developments, presenting a unique opportunity for investors to channel their funds to a city currently in the spotlight.

Business relocations in recent months

Several businesses have either relocated to or opened new establishments in Manchester, demonstrating the city’s growing appeal to local and international companies. Here’s a detailed look at some of these businesses.

  • Sexy Fish, a highly-esteemed sushi restaurant, opened at the former Armani unit near Australasia, Spinningfields.
  • Soho House, a London-based exclusive members’ club, is expanding to Manchester. It will occupy the Old Granada Studios, offering amenities like a rooftop pool, event spaces, and a bar and dining room.
  • BT has disclosed plans to establish a new hub at New Bailey, aiming to create approximately 70 specialized jobs in fields such as software engineering, cloud computing, design, and artificial intelligence. The majority of these roles are expected to be filled by April 2024. This initiative is part of BT’s strategy to accelerate its digital transformation and foster growth while also contributing to the local tech community.
  • Maya, a modern European classics bar and restaurant, is opening soon, further enriching Manchester’s vibrant nightlife scene.
  • Boxpark, following its success in London, is coming to Manchester as a new street food destination.
  • Madre, a North West-born taco spot, extended its reach to the bustling Kampus neighbourhood.
  • Gail’s Bakery, a much-loved bakery from the capital, is expanding north, opening its first neighbourhood bakery in the city centre.
  • Bohemian Arts Club, a chic and intimate cocktail bar, debuted on Lower Hillgate, Stockport, following a significant renovation.

Manchester’s ascension isn’t just numbers and statistics—it’s a vivid illustration of a city continually reinventing itself whilst staying true to its industrial roots. The influx of new businesses, the vote of confidence from institutional investors, and the sprawling developments across the city are more than mere indicators of economic growth. They are a testament to Manchester’s enduring allure, a blend of historical richness and modern-day innovation that inspires entrepreneurs, investors, and dreamers alike.