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Manchester tops list of best British business locations

24th June 2019

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Manchester has secured the number one slot on Management Today’s list of the 21 Best Towns and Cities for Business.

The list ranks the UK’s major urban centres, excluding the capital, on how appealing they are as a place to do business, focusing on the needs of mid-to-large, talent-hungry, high-productivity firms.

Manchester ranked ahead of Bristol, Leeds and Edinburgh, all of which were assessed against metrics including productivity, depth of the talent pool, strength of innovation, scale of the private sector ecosystem and rate of growth.

Detailing why Manchester secured the top spot, Management Today said: “As the UK’s leading regional city for attracting foreign direct investment and a pilot city for the Local Industrial Strategy (which establishes new ways of working between national and local government, and the public and private sectors), Manchester’s industry strengths are centred around tech and emergent sectors, including advanced materials, healthcare analytics, cyber security and FinTech.

“This breadth of innovation is underpinned by a supportive infrastructure, the largest concentration of private equity firms outside of London and world-class university research and industry collaborations. This, in turn, fuels an entrepreneurial culture of spin-offs, start-ups and high-growth SMEs.”

Tim Newns, CEO of MIDAS – Greater Manchester’s inward investment agency, said: “Manchester is the premier UK centre for supporting the growth and scale up of mid-sized and large global firms due to the availability of talent, both locally sourced via the city region’s fantastic universities, but also its ability to attract wider UK and global talent through its quality of life offering; which combines incredibly strong career prospects, high quality affordable housing and an excellent cultural and entertainment offer.

The city’s position as a hub for convergence across multiple industries is also a key factor, supporting companies to produce new IP that underpins growth in product development - opening up new markets for growth. Additionally, the city region’s connectivity allows firms access to the domestic economy and talent whilst also giving them great international connectivity via Manchester Airport, which connects the region to the world via 220 destinations - more than any UK airport, including Heathrow.”

The results were collated and weighted to ensure fair competition between large and small cities. Each of the destinations that made the shortlist were invited to make a case for winning, which was reviewed by an expert panel of judges.

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