Investment in Manchester – Your cue for off-plan property purchases

Manchester’s designation as a key economic area is the investor’s dream

Manchester is one of the UK’s key economic areas. It has the second largest city and regional economy in the nation, and a highly educated workforce which is encouraging inward investment and powering the subsequent growth in jobs. As professional investors in off-plan property understand, investment from central government, local authorities and businesses are vital if the true potential of property investment is to become a reality. In this regard, Manchester certainly doesn’t disappoint.

Indeed, an investment in Manchester off-plan property should benefit from one of the largest, most innovative, and most proactive investment plans in the UK today. In this article, you’ll learn more about the city of Manchester’s roadmap for success, which should have a highly positive effect on property prices.

Manchester’s investment story that makes off-plan property a ‘no-brainer.’

Manchester has been identified as a key economic area in the creation of the Northern Powerhouse. It is the first UK city to benefit from the devolution of power and financing from the central government. It will move it towards the same footing as London, with abilities to decide its budgets, spending and financing. As a result, it is more able to adopt policies to attract inward investment and promote business growth.

At the heart of economic growth is the Greater Manchester City Deal. This:

  • Creates a revolving infrastructure fund with an ‘earn back’ scheme, allowing Greater Manchester to recoup some additional tax revenues from GVA increases that have resulted because of infrastructure development
  • Establishes a framework to align core economic development funds
  • Creates an apprenticeship and skills hub, targeting SMEs in particular
  • Increases the opportunities provided by Manchester’s Business Growth Hub, integrating trade, investment, and business advice
  • Develops Manchester’s ability to attract inward investment
  • Establishes a Low Carbon Hub, with plans to reduce emissions by almost half by 2020
  • Establishes a housing fund to aid new housing development
  • Creates a framework for collaboration on rail, bus and road infrastructure funding and development

Billions are made available for investment

The Greater Manchester City Deal makes billions available for investment in the region.

The Earn Back Model brings together local and central funding to create a £2 billion-plus programme. It uses a formula to create a revenue stream over the next 30 years by enabling some of the extra tax revenues created to be paid back into the scheme. These revenues can then be used for further onward infrastructure investment.

This scheme provides a short-term boost to the local economy and a longer-term impact. This impact is forecast to exceed £1 billion per year by 2025.

The alignment of investment from central government, ERDF, The North-West Evergreen Fund and the private sector is supporting no fewer than 70 projects. These projects cover:

  • Commercial developments
  • Transport and broadband infrastructure
  • Housing
  • Low carbon projects
  • Business growth

Central government can’t resist investing in Manchester

Manchester has been a consistent beneficiary of the government’s Regional Growth Fund (RGF), with almost £100 million committed in the last four years. The funding has been directly responsible for the creation of almost 6,000 jobs – a number that far exceeds the target of 3,700.

Also, committed Housing Investment Funds now total more than £38 million. To date, these funds have produced a total of 1,500 new homes. With a programme target of 10,000, there is far more investment to be made during the remainder of the 10-year programme.

Other investment packages include partnerships to get 6,000 new apprentices into Manchester’s SMEs and funding to increase skills among the workforce. A new science academy will support skills development among young people and link them to job opportunities.

All these initiatives come in addition to 2014/15 government funding of around £500 million in Manchester, designed to boost growth, create jobs, and encourage inward investment.

Here are just a few of the economic and business initiatives in Manchester:

The Manchester Enterprise Zone

The Manchester Enterprise Zone focuses on accommodating businesses that will benefit from the exceptional connectivity of Manchester. It is centred on the Airport City and MediPark initiatives, as well as opportunity sites in south Manchester. The sites are connected by Metrolink, rail, and motorway.

The vision is for a highly connected, diverse business area that supports the creation of thousands of new jobs. Facilities will include:

  • business and office space;
  • advanced manufacturing amenities;
  • hotels and conference facilities;
  • health and bioscience research and development buildings; and
  • training facilities.

The Corridor

The Corridor is at the heart of Manchester’s knowledge economy. It covers around 240 hectares and supports 55,000 jobs. There are two universities based here – The University of Manchester and Manchester Metropolitan University – as well as the Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. It makes the Corridor the UK’s largest academic campus.

Manchester Science Park

Within the bounds of the Corridor, Manchester Science Park is a world-class science and technology hub. It is one of the most successful and fastest locations of its kind in the world, with a proven ability to provide the facilities to maximise innovative and commercial success. Here you’ll find a range of laboratory, workshop and office space accommodating some of the world’s most innovative companies.

One St Peter’s Square

In Manchester’s central business district, One St Peter’s Square provides 270,000 square feet of grade A offices. It is part of Manchester City Council’s £185 million transformations of the Square, Library Walk, Central Library and The Town Hall extension.


A mixed-use business district at the heart of Manchester city centre, Spinningfields attracts a range of high-quality tenants. Most businesses here are within the financial and professional services sector. There are also civic, hotel, leisure, retail, and residential elements within the development. It is a meticulously planned public space, and indicative of the planning and execution that typifies the authority’s approach to regeneration.

Manchester Central

An award-winning business area in the heart of Manchester, Manchester Central houses some of the UK’s largest and most successful indoor exhibition facilities. It has been continually upgraded and regenerated since it was first built in 1880 but includes many of the most important architectural features of a bygone age.

Inward investment and more are positive for off-plan property in Manchester

Investment is only part of the story of property investment potential in Manchester. The city is benefiting from a perfect storm of property fundamentals, which combined make for an irresistible picture for off-plan property investment here: 

  • Manchester is a mecca for retail therapy. It has some of the best and most famous shopping centres in the UK, and a plethora of boutiques and independent stores.
  • For families, Manchester’s educational options are comprehensive. Children from the age of two through to 18 and older are completely catered for, with some of the best educational facilities in the country and a university network that has produced 25 Nobel Prize winners.
  • Manchester’s entertainment scene is unrivalled outside of London. Manchester Arena is Europe’s largest indoor concert venue. The city boasts more than a dozen cinemas and tens of museums and art galleries. It is also within easy reach of some of the UK’s most outstanding areas of natural beauty, including the Lake District, Peak District, and Yorkshire Dales. Sports facilities are limitless.
  • The city is one of the best connected in Europe, with extensive road, rail, and bus networks as well as an extensive canal network. Manchester Airport, which was ranked the UK’s best airport at the 2015 Globe Travel Awards, is just minutes from the city centre.
  • Manchester boasts the UK’s second largest economic region in the UK after London and produces 3.5% of the entire nation’s GVA. It’s a powerhouse of job creation, with a diverse and rapidly expanding economy which makes it well protected against the economic downturn.

Investing in off-plan property in Manchester now is likely to be one of the best property investment strategies today. Contact one of the Gladfish team today on +44 (0)207 923 6100, and discover more about the amazing property investment opportunities in Manchester.

Live with passion,

Brett Alegre-Wood

Brett Alegre-Wood
October 5, 2017

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