Okay we are slightly biased as a Manchester-based business and although we cannot argue that London undisputedly remains the epicentre of the UK, however, you cannot ignore Manchester, we take a look into what makes Manchester so appealing!
To put it simply, in Manchester, business is booming. Once the world’s leading producer of cotton, the Manchester economy has since diversified and grown. The regeneration of areas including Castlefield, Spinningfields and MediaCity has helped to attract additional revenue streams to the city and, in 2017, it’s Manchester’s flourishing creative, financial and knowledge-based industries that are taking centre stage.
Greater Manchester’s economy is now larger than Croatia’s and, in recent years, the city has enjoyed more foreign investment that any other outside of London. Unsurprisingly, this prosperity has led to a number of global brands setting up shop in Manchester.
An emphasis on cost reduction in the post-recessional and post-Brexit economy has led to companies reassessing the importance of being based in the capital. Consequently, there’s been a wave of expansion in the north, with several large corporations, including the BBC, Talk Talk and Google, ‘north shoring’ and moving aspects of their businesses from London to Manchester. By doing so, they have been able to cut expenditure, benefit from the city’s emerging talent pool and gain a competitive advantage.
For solicitors looking for a healthy work-life balance, Manchester certainly has a lot to offer. Compared with those in the capital who are burdened with long and crowded commutes into the city, many Mancunians are lucky enough to live within a short distance of their workplace. While working hours remain arduous, because people in Manchester spend less time travelling to and from the office, they’ve got more free time to enjoy the city they live in.
City centre living is particularly common as a result of the endless high-rise apartment blocks that continue to spring up across the city. The leafy suburbs of Didsbury or Chorlton are also popular. For those who wish to live further afield, Liverpool, Leeds and the Peak District are all less than an hour’s drive away.
The North West’s robust rail and motorway links mean that Manchester is perfectly positioned across the regions. What’s more, the ever-expanding 60-mile Metrolink tram network seamlessly connects commuter towns including Bury, Rochdale and Altrincham to the city centre.
With the high-speed rail links HS2 and HS3 promising to cut travel time between Manchester and both Leeds and London in half within the next 20 years, the city will be more closely linked to the rest of the country than ever. Manchester Airport is also an extremely valuable asset, with one of the most varied route networks in the world and flights to over 200 destinations.
Moderate house prices
Unfortunately, the rising cost of living in the capital shows no sign of slowing down, but in Manchester, the price of property is considerably more affordable. Whereas in London, for many people owning their own home is simply a pipe dream, up North, where average house prices are around 4 times lower, it’s much easier to get on the property ladder.
Culture and social scene
With its vibrant musical and sporting heritage along with its numerous theatres, museums and art galleries, Manchester’s cultural scene rivals that of any other city in the UK. Additionally, in recent years, the city has become something of a foodie’s paradise and offers endless options for Friday night drinks and nibbles after a long week at the office.
The traditional pulling power of the capital is on the wane and increasing numbers of young professionals are going mad for Manchester’s charm, industry and innovation. As investment continues to pour into the city and the cost of living and running a business in London keeps rising, the number of leading firms and talented professionals making the move up north is only going to increase. There’s certainly never been a more exciting time to be in Manchester.