Manchester and the Greater Manchester Business Board (LEP) have both gained top rankings in The Financial Times’ FDi European Cities and Regions of the Future 2023/24 report, showcasing the city-region as a major international business hub and leading investment destination.
The City of Manchester was the only UK city to make the overall ranking of the Large European City of the Future, coming in 6th place against Hamburg, Frankfurt, Krakow, Dusseldorf and Rotterdam.
It was also the only UK city to rank for Connectivity, Economic potential and FDI Strategy, coming in 3rd, 7th and 5th place respectively. These are all attractive prospects for investors looking to bring their business to the region. For Business Friendliness, Manchester came 3rd in the ranks of Large European Cities with Leeds ranking 10th.
The Greater Manchester Business Board (LEP) was ranked as the 2nd Local Enterprise Partnership of the Future in the Overall FDI Rankings, making it the leading city-region for FDI outside of the capital. The Greater Manchester Business Board (LEP) was praised in the report for moving up two spots in comparison to last year’s rankings.
Greater Manchester achieved 2nd place for both Business Friendliness and FDI Strategy, both of which are crucial aspects in creating an attractive offer for ambitious businesses.
Criteria for achieving these accolades includes ease of setting up and doing business, the number of companies in key growth sectors and number of jobs created.
In the five years to November 2022, the report states that Greater Manchester attracted 219 new FDI projects, with software and IT being the biggest drivers. It notes key announcements from the last year including Google’s expansion of its Manchester operations and meat processing company Danish Crown’s $123m investment in Rochdale.
The report also hailed Greater Manchester as a place for businesses to source talent, citing the University of Manchester’s ranking as the sixth-best in the UK, according to QS’s World University Rankings 2023. Availability of talent is an attractive prospect to investors and Greater Manchester’s five leading universities, with over 29,000 STEM students, provide an excellent pool of skilled talent for incoming businesses in Greater Manchester’s core sectors; digital, tech, advanced manufacturing, health and life science and net zero.
The report also noted that Manchester was named the UK’s most liveable city by the Economist Intelligence Unit in its latest Global Liveability Index, suggesting there are plenty of reasons why Greater Manchester LEP performs well in FDI sub-categories such as Business Friendliness, Economic Potential and Connectivity. Creating an affordable, desirable and well-connected city to live in supports businesses by attracting talent, enhancing employee well-being and creating further opportunities for collaboration across the region.
The full rankings are as follows:
- fDi’s Large European Cities of the Future 2023 – OVERALL (Ranked 6th)
- fDi’s Large European Cities of the Future 2023 – Connectivity (Ranked 3rd)
- fDi’s Large European Cities of the Future 2023 – Business Friendliness (Ranked 3rd)
- fDi’s Large European Cities of the Future 2023 – FDI Strategy (Ranked 5th)
- fDi’s Large European Cities of the Future 2023 – Economic Potential (Ranked 7th)
- fDi’s Local Enterprise Partnerships of the Future 2023 – OVERALL (Ranked 2nd)
- fDi’s Local Enterprise Partnerships of the Future 2023 – FDI Strategy (Ranked 2nd)
- fDi’s Local Enterprise Partnerships of the Future 2023 – Economic Potential (Ranked 4th)
- fDi’s Local Enterprise Partnerships of the Future 2023 – Connectivity (Ranked 6th)
- fDi’s Local Enterprise Partnerships of the Future 2023 – Business Friendliness (Ranked 2nd)
Read the full report here.