New government statistics reveal Greater Manchester is a leading UK city-region for Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) with thousands of new, high-value jobs created in the last year, significantly boosting the local economy.
The Department for Business and Trade Inward Investment Results for 2022-2023, show more than 3,800 jobs were created and 76 projects were closed in Greater Manchester, as it continues to be a first-choice destination for international brands.
Greater Manchester represents the largest city region economy outside London, with a gross value added (GVA) of £78.7 billion. Led by the Greater Manchester International Strategy, it has established an outstanding reputation as a competitive place to live, work and invest.
Lou Cordwell OBE, Chair of Greater Manchester Business Board (LEP), said:
“Greater Manchester continues to be an attractive destination for inward investors, with 76 investments from international companies creating nearly 4,000 jobs. Our city-region has a strong offer when it comes to the key criteria investors consider – access to a skilled workforce, regional, national and international connectivity, and strong local business networks and partnerships.
“It’s fantastic to see Greater Manchester competing on a global scale. This success is underpinned by, and testament to, our compelling Economic Vision for a greener, fairer and more prosperous city-region, one where businesses from all parts of the world can thrive.”
Mayor of Greater Manchester and member of the Greater Manchester Business Board (LEP), Andy Burnham, said:
“Greater Manchester is increasingly seen as an attractive destination by international investors. Our city-region has much to offer – we’re the fastest-growing digital and tech hub in Europe, with a proud history of innovation and emerging strengths in green industries. Foreign direct investment is vital to Greater Manchester’s economy, creating jobs and new opportunities for local businesses to trade.
“These results also highlight the importance of the US as a source for inward investment. Earlier this year, Cllr Bev Craig and I led a mission to North Carolina, South by Southwest festival and New York City. Our efforts to strengthen those links continue and we want to further boost trade, investment and tourism.”
Bev Craig, Leader of Manchester City Council and Greater Manchester Combined Authority portfolio lead for Economy and Business, said:
“These figures demonstrate that our concerted efforts on a global stage to promote Manchester and Greater Manchester as a place to invest in and do business are delivering results, creating jobs and opportunities for our residents.
“It is particularly gratifying to see the United States, where many of those efforts have been focused, so well represented among investors demonstrating their belief in – and excitement about – what we have to offer.
“This vote of confidence in globally uncertain times underlines the strength and diversity of our economy. They could be choosing to invest anywhere – they are choosing here.”
The United States continues to be a leading source of FDI projects into the UK, creating over 20,000 new jobs. With a long history of collaboration, the US remains a key market for Greater Manchester and earlier this year, Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham and Bev Craig, GMCA portfolio lead for Economy and Business led a UK-first mission to North Carolina to further strengthen cultural and economic ties. The delegation of civic representatives and businesses also visited Austin and New York to pursue projects and opportunities across shared areas of interest.
Joe Manning, Managing Director of MIDAS, Greater Manchester’s Inward Investment Agency commented:
“Foreign owned companies are worth a total of £37billion to Greater Manchester’s economy, employing approximately 172,000 people. This economic growth has been driven by its depth of expertise, green ambitions and well-established ecosystem that continues to attract international investors.
We’re thrilled to see the city-region maintain its global competitive edge as we continue to raise our profile internationally.”
These results follow positive data from EY’s 2023 UK Attractiveness Survey in which Manchester remains the leading city for FDI in the UK outside of London, recording the highest levels of investment since 2018 despite the UK’s overall decline.
Since 1997, MIDAS – Greater Manchester’s award-winning inward investment promotion agency – has helped hundreds of businesses successfully relocate to and expand in the city region. Recent investors include JP Morgan Private Bank, Starling Bank and Rolls Royce SMR.