Manchester is rolling out the red carpet to new investors with a ‘soft landing’ scheme offering free office space in serviced offices for 12 months, across the city region.
The new scheme, Hello Manchester, officially launched on 25 January, has been developed in partnership between the Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA), MIDAS, and leading serviced office providers – Avanta, Bruntwood, Manchester Science Park (msp) and Orega.
Hello Manchester offers new overseas investors to the Manchester City Region free desk space for the first 12 months of their relocation to the area as part of Manchester’s continued drive to attract investment and jobs.
The offer is focused on attracting foreign-owned businesses and is designed to promote and maintain Manchester’s status as a top ten European business location with a wide-ranging and flexible talent pool of people, excellent transport infrastructure including Manchester Airport and a diverse and high quality portfolio of business premises.
The city region is already home to major operations of leading global companies such as Google, Cisco, Nike, Aon, Jacob’s Engineering and Bank of New York Mellon.
The scheme offers one free desk per investing company in fully serviced accommodation in key locations across the city region.
The free rent is supported by the full spectrum of business development services provided by the NWDA and MIDAS including an extensive, free and confidential package of advice and assistance to companies looking to relocate to or expand within Manchester City Region.
Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) plays a very important part in the Northwest economy. A study by DTZ for the NWDA in 2008 highlighted the value and significance that FDI has in our region. The report found that over 17% of regional gross value added (GVA) is accounted for by foreign owned companies operating in the Northwest and that economic output (GVA) per worker is almost 50% higher in foreign owned companies compared to the regional average.
Mark Hughes, Executive Director of Economic Development at the NWDA, said: “The Northwest is well known for its friendly hospitality and welcoming population and we are also the best performing region for foreign direct investment (FDI). The Hello service brings these two important characteristics together and should help us secure even more investment in future years which in turn will help grow our economy.”
Colin Sinclair, chief executive of MIDAS, said: “We’re delighted to announce the launch of Hello Manchester with our partner organisations.
“Manchester has always given businesses a warm welcome and believe this excellent service will prove to be one more compelling reason for businesses to bring their investment and jobs to the City Region.”
Bruntwood sales director Andrew Butterworth said: “We’re delighted to be an integral part of the Hello Northwest initiative. With a broad range of flexible and fully serviced office space across the region, Bruntwood is well placed to provide overseas businesses a convenient workplace from which they can successfully establish a meaningful base.
“From there, our extensive North of England office portfolio also enables these companies to expand seamlessly with us, should it be required in the future. As well as the choice and service provided by everyone involved in the scheme, the Northwest offers an incredibly rich commercial and cultural destination for foreign investors; somewhere that many global businesses are already happy to call their UK home.”
Chris Taylor, director of corporate development at Avanta, said: “Avanta has a history of wholeheartedly supporting initiatives to help attract and support foreign investors to the UK and, having supported a similar scheme in London for the past two years, we’ve found them to be highly successful in attracting new businesses. Therefore, we are 100 per cent behind the Hello Northwest scheme.
“We know that new investors in Manchester will appreciate the reduction in cost of initial market entry together with the enhanced speed to market that we can provide and we shall therefore look forward to providing them with a soft landing.”
Jessica Cox, marketing manager for Orega, said: “We look forward to providing a warm welcome at our new Piccadilly Place business centre which provides flexible and stylish serviced offices, meeting rooms and virtual offices directly opposite the main railway station in the city and only a 15-minute train ride from Manchester airport. This is our latest new opening and is part of a selective expansion programme that includes major cities in the UK and on mainland Europe. We’re thrilled to be part of such an exciting initiative as Hello Manchester that will give overseas companies the opportunity to have a soft landing in one of our finest business centres.”
Jane Davies, CEO of msp said: “msp has supported the development and promotion of Manchester and the Northwest as a centre of enterprise and innovation for over 25 years. This new initiative provides an exceptional opportunity for international businesses to take advantage of the numerous benefits the area has to offer, and we are proud to be a part of it.”
The soft landing service includes free office space at the following locations:
3 Piccadilly Place, Manchester City Centre next to station (Orega)
111 Piccadilly Place, Manchester City Centre (Bruntwood)
Atria, Bolton (Bruntwood)
Centurion House, Spinningfields (Bruntwood)
City Tower, Manchester City Centre (Bruntwood)
Furness House, Salford Quays (Bruntwood)
Landmark House, Cheadle Hulme, Stockport (Bruntwood)
Lowry House, Financial District (Bruntwood)
Manchester Science Park, MSP
Royal Mills, Ancoats (Avanta)
Station House, Altrincham (Bruntwood)
The scheme also includes a number of properties in the wider Northwest.
Daresbury Park/Daresbury Science and Innovation Campus
Liverpool Science Park
The Plaza, Liverpool
Wilderspool Business Park