Manchester stands at the heart of the UK, itself a top venue for global investment. The UK receives more cumulative investment from key overseas markets than any other European country. As the capital of England's North West region, Manchester is a city of industrial, commercial and technological excellence and a leading centre for education and research. Over 1,600 overseas-owned companies have already invested in North West England and 80 of the Financial Times Top 100 companies are represented in the region.
Manchester's talent has long inspired and pioneered development in technology, transport, engineering, computers, medical research and robotics. Manchester remains progressive, inventive and entrepreneurial, a truly cosmopolitan city with a rich cultural heritage.
Transportation & Communication
Geographically, Manchester lies at the centre of the UK and is ideally placed for access by road, rail and air. It has the national and international communication links to satisfy all business requirements.
Sixty percent of the UK population is within two hours' drive of the city and London is only 35 minutes away by air.
Manchester airport, just 20 minutes drive from the city centre, has motorway access from the national network, and has direct rail connections from around the UK. Voted one of the world『s best airports, and European Airport of the year in recent surveys, it is now ranked in the top twenty of world airports for international travel. Over 17 million passengers use it every year and over 440 consumers are within 3 hours flight time from Manchester.
Currently serviced by 95 airlines, it offers a passenger timetable which includes 175 destinations worldwide, from domestic and European flights to long haul routes to North America and Asia. The addition of a newly opened British Airways terminal and the construction of a second runway, this year keep the airport on target to double passenger throughput up to 30 million by 2005. Work has now started on a new 50 million pounds ground transport interchange.
The airport has a major cargo handling capacity with the freight terminal having an annual throughput of approximately 100,000 tonnes.
There are regular passenger connections to all major UK cities from Manchester, with an hourly service to London and other major centres of commerce. For local commuting there is a comprehensive regional railway network servicing the area. Manchester also has Metrolink, a Light Rapid Transit System which provides a quick and efficient north-south service through Manchester city centre and is now being extended to the west. There are future planned links to the north, east and south including Manchester Airport.
The Manchester Ship Canal connects Manchester with the Irish Sea at Liverpool. Trafford Park provides port facilities for companies within the area, including a full range of services from containerised roll-on roll-off facilities to bulk cargoes. The deep water ports of Liverpool and Hull, 30 miles (48Km) and 95 miles (153Km) from Manchester respectively, are also easily accessible via the motorway and rail networks.
Manchester is at the heart of the UK's motorway network. Around 20 million of the UK's residential population and over 60% of all UK businesses are within two hours drive time of Manchester. Manchester's orbital motorway, the new M60 now ensures even easier access from Manchester to other major UK cities, such as London, Birmingham and Glasgow.
The movement of freight in the Manchester area is handled by the Trafford Park World Freight Centre, which is the largest road/rail interchange complex outside London and includes Euroterminal, Manchester International Freight Terminal, P&O's Containerbase and Rail Freight Distribution's Freight Liner Terminal. Euroterminal alone currently provides 17 daily services through the Channel Tunnel to 14 European markets within 2 days by rail.
Ease Of communication is just one of the many reasons for locating in the Manchester area.
Population & Workforce
Manchester's asset is its people. A large and highly skilled labour pool distinguishes the city from its national and international rivals. An excellent commercial and industrial base, unrivaled transport links, and a world-class educational infrastructure maintain the size, mobility and quality of the workforce, whilst the city's competitive labour costs and productivity bring added value to location choice.
Manchester is one of Europe's most dynamic cities at the heart of North-West England, the UK's largest economic region outside London. The region has: A population of 7 million Over 2.5 million households
An annual disposable income of 43 billion pounds (US $68.8 billion) A Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of 75 billion pounds (US $107.6 billion) equating to approximately 10% of the UK output. Moreover, Greater Manchester itself is a large consumer and business market in its own right, with a workforce of 1.5 million people and a GDP of 28 billion pounds (US $41billion).
Over 25% of the UK's motorway network runs through the Manchester area, placing it within 2 hour's drive time of 60% (33.4 million people) of the UK's population.
Over 2 million people live within a 10-mile (16km) radius of Manchester and more than 5 million people within a 30-mile (48km) radius. Manchester's population is multi-cultural and predominantly young, with 65% being under 45 years old.
Manchester's workforce is employed across the entire industrial and commercial spectrum: manufacturing; transport and distribution; financial, professional and technical services; retailing; government; education and health.
Manchester is home to 60 merchant, overseas and clearing banks, 50 accounting firms, a dozen venture capital organizations, internationally acknowledged corporate law firms and numerous independent finance and specialist finance houses. 27,000 people work in financial services.
Wage Rates and Social Costs
The UK labour market is among the most flexible in Europe and is extremely cost competitive. Wage rates in Manchester are extremely competitive with the rest of the UK.
With 4 leading universities, each renowned for their own specialist centres of excellence, Manchester is home to over 78,000 students - one of Europe's largest university campuses. There are also another 14 universities and higher education institutions in the surrounding area, making for a total student population of over 300,000 within one hour's drive time of Manchester.
Over 9,000 students are studying first or higher degrees at Manchester's Universities. Manchester receives more applications from potential higher education students than any other University City in the UK. These confirm Manchester's popularity as the primary location for study.
The Manchester area is well recognized for the quality and quantity of students receiving degrees in certain disciplines. In the 1997/98 academic year alone, over 19,000 students graduated with degrees from Manchester's Universities. Computing science produced over 1,000 graduates and science and technology disciplines saw over 2,000 qualifiers in 1997/98. Foreign language student numbers are also significant, with 8,401 students studying foreign languages at the 18 Universities within one hour’s drive time of Manchester and with 2,135 qualifying in 1997/98.
All the local universities maintain pragmatic partnerships with industry and commerce and collectively they attract some 70 million pounds of research income annually. The research strengths, highly skilled labour force and cost effective technology transfer all add up to form a SUPERCAMPUS which has enhanced the economic and technological base of the area.
Quality of life
Manchester is the cultural centre of the region with the largest theatre concentration in the UK outside London and one of the country's finest classical concert venues as well as a wealth of art galleries and libraries.
It is home to three symphony orchestras, BBC Philharmonic, Manchester Camerata and the Halle, one of the World's most respected orchestras. The Halle's home is the 43 million pounds, 2,400 seat Bridgewater Hall opened in 1996.
Two of the finest opera companies in Europe, Opera North and Glyndebourne, are regular, committed visitors to the region, as are several major dance companies such as English National Ballet and Ballet Rambert. Prestigious musicals, dramas and comedy tour the Palace Theatre and Opera House.
The region offers a tremendous variety of fascinating museums and galleries to explore: Manchester museum is crammed with ethnographic wonders, whilst the Whitworth art Gallery houses a thrilling collection of decorative and fine arts. Manchester City Art Gallery boasts a remarkable collection of Pre-Raphelite paintings, currently under wraps until 2001 as its building is being restored and virtually doubled in size.
In Manchester, shopaholics think they have died and gone to heaven. Manchester offers a huge range of retail choice, from designer chic to antiques and crafts. Large chain stores and department stores can be found in abundance. Manchester has the world's largest Marks and Spencer. Only a few miles away lies the vast domed shopping city of the Trafford Center, home to the only Selfridges store outside London.
Sports and Manchester
Having twice taken on the world in a bid for the Olympic Games, the pace in Manchester is hotting up for 2002 Commonwealth Games. A state of the art stadium is under construction, the 32 million pounds Manchester Aquatics Centre was completed in July 2000, ahead of schedule, adding to the National Cycling Centre and a 20,000-capacity indoor arena, the largest in Europe which are already in place. These fantastic facilities will be foundations for Manchester's 21st century sporting ambitions. But there's no need to wait for 2002. You can experience sporting Manchester right now. It may be best known for being home to the most famous football club in the world ?C Manchester United ?C but it has many other sporting attractions.
Manchester is home to eight major league soccer teams, seven top rugby teams and over 90 golf courses.
Manchester has 5 international venues among nearly 500 sports facilities.
Old Trafford is not only home to Manchester United, it is also home to one of England's great cricketing counties ?C Lancashire County Cricket Club ?C own Basketball team, Manchester Giants
Manchester's Ice Hockey Team, The Storm, was the 1998/99 Super League Champions
Manchester today has a confident, European air. Whatever your taste, a short stroll will bring an amazing choice. Bars and restaurants have boomed, doubling in the last five years to 450 licensed premises in the city centre alone. Manchester's night time economy is valued at more than 100 million pounds per year. The cosmopotitan nature of Manchester is reflected in its wealth of international cuisine from 20 different nations. Manchester's Chinatown is unrivalled in Britain, Rusholme's curry mile' has near-legendary status, and both are buttressed by a thousand others; restaurants specializing in seafood and the best of French, Italian, Thai and Japanese cuisine. Big name chefs like Gary Rhodes, Paul Heathcote and Nico Ladenis have all added Manchester to their menus. For winning individual style, visit the sumptuous Reform, or the elegant Lincoln. Enjoy the best sun terrace in town at Mick Hucknall's Barca. Sample Italian, Greek, Thai dishes or the new wave of tapas, noodle and sushi joints.
The recently-opened Printworks development in Exchange Square houses the North Wests first IMAX cinema, as well as the Hard Rock Café, Tiger Tiger and a host of other clubs, bars and restaurants.
The industrial heart of Manchester
The impressive regeneration of Trafford Park Industrial Estate, the industrial heart of Manchester continues at breathtaking pace, successfully transforming the area into Europe's fastest growing business location. Home to over 1300 companies, which employ 43,000 people, Trafford Park's success is endorsed by the continued investment and development undertaken by companies relocating to or expanding the area. In just nine years, the park has attracted over 1.3M pounds of private sector investment from companies including US-based Phototronics and Omega Engineering and Japanese owned Kratos Analytical and Manchester Tobacco.