Traditionally Manchester has always sat slightly behind London as the capital of cool in Britain. Sure we’ve consistently produced some of the countries most popular and exciting bands and musicians that will forever be etched in musical history.
It is also home to one of the biggest football clubs in the world, but in terms of glamour and prowess London has always seemed one step ahead of the game. However, this is all starting to change.
During 2009, the centre of the economic crisis and the issues surrounding MPs expenses (arguably the two most depressing news stories of the last decade) have ostensibly emanated from London. Combine this with the ridiculous house prices, a slow public transport system and the constant threat of the terrorism and it’s easy to see how the capital is losing its crown of cool to its northern cousins.
In stark contrast to London’s problems, Manchester has been gobbling up opportunities left, right and centre. Where old, corrupt, slow moving organisations have become synonymous with London, Manchester has come to represent young, exciting dynamic businesses which are aiming to have a positive impact on where they are based.
Getting Right With the BBC
The BBC is planning to move 1,000 jobs from London to Manchester in 2011, as well as investing £250m a year in the city. The move is intended to bring more young emerging talent to the corporation that would have been previously put off moving to London due to the huge living costs. The BBC isn’t the only employer taking advantage of Manchester’s cheaper living and excellent executive office space. The new media area, Media City, is attracting many young media savvy graduates hoping to make a name for themselves at some of the exciting new businesses that have opened up shop at the Salford Quays. Companies like TSL and Toasted Productions are taking advantage of the great meeting venues in Manchester and the wealth of talent that the city provides.
Manchester City Investment
It’s not just in the UK where Manchester is creating a name for itself. Since the takeover of Manchester City by Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan in 2008, the “second club of Manchester” has become a firm favourite with football fans in Abu Dhabi – a fact that just three years ago would have seemed highly improbable and equally comical.
Manchester’s future is certainly looking bright; the BBC move and the huge Abu Dhabi investment into Manchester City can be pointed out as the flag bearers for this change but there is also a lot more to it as well. Developments like the NV buildings at Salford Quays have provided sophisticated metropolitan living at a fraction of the cost compared to their counterparts in London. The Ropeworks development in the city centre provides stylish modern living to many of Manchester’s young professionals at a close distance to many of the cities excellent serviced business centres.
The city is gaining so much attention from international investors, as well as national media and employers that it truly has shaken off the perception of gray oppressive skies and horrible mouldy cagoules. Manchester has now truly become the capital of rock and goals!
This article was kindly contributed by Simon Eastlake, Manager of the Serviced Office Company which has a number of serviced offices in Manchester.