One of the most talked about economic topics: the advancement of the ‘Northern Powerhouse’. Many people have discussed the large scale investments, including an interesting article by my colleague, Katrina Whitehead. However, I am keen to document the reasons why this influx of interest has occurred, and whether we should expect the continued evolution of the ‘Northern Powerhouse’ in years to come.
Manchester saw over £1.2 billion investment in 2015; a leading economic draw of the city proving to be the existing infrastructure. The train links have improved greatly in recent years, enabling easy access to neighbouring cities and only a two hour journey down to London. Transport for Greater Manchester has recently awarded a consultancy contract to Mace, they will now take responsibility of the continued transportation development. This contract is expected to develop access to Manchester from all around the north, enabling ease of business operations.
The factor which I believe to have proved most crucial is the commercial property prices throughout London, acting as a ‘push factor’ as many investors, and residents, are struggling to afford the price level. In contrast, although Manchester has seen significant increases in property prices, the level still remains extremely reasonable when compared to those of the south. This has made the north more approachable and somewhat more attractive to both domestic and foreign investors.
Over the past two years the investment within Manchester has more than doubled, this alone has created a ‘snow ball’ effect; whereby once investment begins to enter a city, the consumer confidence in the area increases, causing more investments to follow. Money follows money. The recent investment has seen the average price of renting commercial office space in Manchester become the highest outside of the Capital, coming in at £34 per sq ft.
This makes for exciting times ahead, and as a resident of Manchester I am very much looking forward to the next quarter and seeing the changes that take place!
Bradley Flatt, Resourcer, General Practice, Foundation Recruitment