Manchester inward investment brings 3,500 jobs

Latest figures from MIDAS, Greater Manchester’s inward investment agency, show it supported the creation of 3,458 jobs across the city region in the last financial year, generating £231 million of Gross Value Added (GVA). 

About 58% of successful investment projects in FY20 were from companies that are new to Greater Manchester – a 48% increase from 2018-19.

The remaining projects and associated jobs created were expansions of existing businesses.

Of the total project volume, 75% (60) were from foreign-owned companies, accounting for 2,793 jobs.

The majority of foreign direct investment (FDI) projects were from companies headquartered in the US, Germany and India.

MIDAS, part of The Growth Company, works on behalf of the ten local authorities of Greater Manchester and is responsible for attracting investment to the city region that ultimately creates jobs. 

MIDAS said it attracted investment to Greater Manchester from innovative companies and global brands across all the city region’s key sectors –creative digital and technology, financial and professional services, advanced manufacturing, and life science and healthcare. 

The financial, professional and business services sector performed strongest in terms of job numbers, accounting for 37% (1,292) of the annual figure.

Firms expanding or setting up in Greater Manchester include Fitch Ratings, Slalom and Interactive Investor.

The highest number of projects (30) came from the advanced manufacturing industry.

The creative, digital and technology (CDT) sector accounted for a third of projects (26) and 24% (830) of jobs created, with investors including BAE Systems AI, Huawei and Altus Group amongst those creating the highest volume of jobs.

MIDAS CEO Tim Newns said: “Due to the investment and support from the Greater Manchester Combined Authority and MIDAS’ private sector developer partners, we have been able to proactively stimulate an increasingly volatile market and retain significant levels of investment into the city region.

“The uncertainty of Brexit and the general election resulted in low investor sentiment towards the UK last year, which delayed the progression of numerous projects, but after market confidence returned briefly following the December election, MIDAS closed 46% of its annual investment projects in the final quarter of 19/20.

“This could have been even higher but for the COVID-19 crisis, which caused a little more caution in the scale of job creation forecast by some new investors in the final quarter compared to earlier in the year and the delaying of a few larger projects in to the 20/21 financial year.

“We could have seen an additional 1,000 jobs created but we still hope to capture the majority of these over the longer term.

“COVID-19 is changing the world as we know it, including the investment landscape, and we have redirected our efforts to ensure we support the city region’s recovery.

“Looking ahead, although we face challenging times, we are primed to leverage Greater Manchester’s strengths in sectors that have risen in prominence as a result of the situation; such as cyber security, eCommerce, life sciences, low carbon and digital technologies, to ensure Greater Manchester retains its status as a leading destination for high-value inward investment.”

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Mark McSherry
Dalriada Media LLC sites are edited by veteran news journalist Mark McSherry, a former staff editor and reporter with Reuters, Bloomberg and major newspapers including the South China Morning Post, London's Sunday Times and The Scotsman. McSherry's journalism has also appeared in The Washington Post, The Guardian, The Independent, The New York Times, London's Evening Standard and Forbes. McSherry is also a professor of journalism and communication arts in universities and colleges in New York City. Scottish-born McSherry has an MBA from the University of Edinburgh and a Certificate in Global Affairs from New York University.