[Manchester 15th February] Manchester has once again solidified its position as a thriving hub for investment and economic growth, as it is ranked top Large UK City for Foreign Direct Investment in the FDI Intelligence European Cities and Regions of the Future 2024, report published today.

The rankings benchmark European cities and regions according to their economic, financial, and business strengths. Following an assessment of 509 locations; 330 cities, 141 regions and 38 LEPs, those with the most promising prospects for inward investment, economic development, and business expansion, are ranked in the Top 10 in categories.

Manchester represents the largest city region economy outside London, with a gross value added (GVA) of £78.7 billion. This strength has enabled it to establish an outstanding reputation as a world-class offer for international investors across its key sectors, Creative Digital and Tech, Advanced Manufacturing, Financial Professional and Business Services and Life Sciences.

Manchester placed highly for all measurements in the prestigious European accolade and emerged as the Top Large UK city overall, in Top Large UK city for Economic Potential Category and for Top Large UK City for Business Friendliness where it also placed in the top five. 

The methodology behind this calculates a variety of factors, including the amount of hi-tech manufacturers, the number of jobs created by inward FDI, days taken to start a business, ease of doing business and top 1000 world banks.


Joe Manning, Managing Director at MIDAS, Manchester’s Inward Investment Agency said

Manchester continues to stand out as a prime destination for businesses seeking strategic opportunities in Europe. It’s promising to see that our commitment to fostering sustainable development and driving innovation has been recognised by FDI Intelligence.”


Greater Manchester’s business board formerly known as the Greater Manchester Local Enterprise Partnership, was also assessed and came in top five in all categories thanks to its transformative work to guide and support industrial growth.


Topping the tables, this year the Business Board ranked highly, second for both fDi's Local Enterprise Partnerships of the Future and for its Business Friendliness.


Lou Cordwell OBE, Chair of Greater Manchester Business Board (LEP), said

“It's great to see Greater Manchester as a city-region, and Manchester as a city, continue to be an attractive proposition for international investors. With access to a skilled workforce, leading academic research, regional, national and international connectivity, and strong local business networks and partnerships, we have always had a compelling offer, but now we're gaining a reputation as a leading worldwide business destination.


"To be increasingly recognised for business friendliness, economic potential and FDI strategy is a testament to the ecosystem we've created here that allows businesses to thrive. It shows Greater Manchester can compete on a global scale to attract businesses and drive the right kind of growth for our residents."


In 2024, MIDAS will continue its strategic approach to business development in support of Mayor Andy Burnham and the Greater Manchester Combined Authority’s Internationalisation Strategy. MIDAS will work in partnership with the public and private sector in the city region, and the team will collaborate with key cities in Europe, to secure significant levels of new investment with an overall aim to create and safeguard jobs in Greater Manchester.

To explore the opportunities to invest in Manchester, get in touch with the team at MIDAS.



About MIDAS 

MIDAS is Greater Manchester’s Inward Investment Agency, with a strategic aim to secure significant levels of new investment for the city region to create and safeguard jobs. MIDAS forms part of The Growth Company, which supports the growth and prosperity of Greater Manchester through the provision of services that will raise Greater Manchester’s profile, attract investment, help generate new business, support existing businesses to grow, and provide individuals with new skills and employment opportunities.