The Manchester Recovery Plan

9th April 2021

By Will Leyland

Pre-pandemic, Manchester was considered one of the jewels in the crown that is Northern England’s economic hub, with jobs and businesses all growing at a rapid rate and construction and infrastructure all being upgraded and improved at a similar rate.

As one of Europe’s fastest growing cities, Manchester was attracting record amounts of growth and inward migration from other areas in the UK - namely the South East.

Thanks in part to the two world class universities on its doorstep, the workforce was young and diverse, and the amount of new and exciting start-ups was one of the highest on the continent too.

In property, the city was constructing new housing and living spaces at a rate to compete with anywhere else in the country and was seeing world class property being constructed weekly thanks to a booming demand for high quality and exclusive city centre living space.

It’s not that any of that has stopped, but certainly most of it was put on pause during the pandemic, and with the city being under some form of restriction since July last year, it has been a long and winding path back to normality.

With the UK now well on its way to fully re-opening its economy, the focus has now turned to how Manchester intends to recover and flourish post-Covid.

Transport

Mayor Andy Burnham made public transport and infrastructure central to his campaign and just a few weeks until the next mayoral election, Burnham has announced that the city intends to take the bus network of Greater Manchester back under public control, with private companies instead bidding for contracts to run certain routes.

Burnham has said that he is intending to ensure that companies will provide green transport options and that the city will introduce a scheme similar to London’s Oyster card to pay for numerous transport options. He has also promised lower fares across the region and also plans to expand the tram network to all Greater Manchester boroughs.

Business confidence

One of the central aspects of the recovery will depend on the confidence of businesses and their investment into the city this year and beyond.

As one of Manchester’s greatest strengths, it’s important for wealth creation and jobs that it returns to the position of strength it was in before the pandemic.

There is good news on this front - according to the Business Desk, “Optimism is returning to Greater Manchester businesses following the roll out of the vaccination programme.

According to the findings of this quarter’s Economic Survey conducted by Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce, the index has moved into positive territory for the first time since April 2020 as all three sector groups – services, manufacturing and construction showing signs of recovery after the economic shock of 2020.”

Manchester property

Finally, the city’s strongest section of the economy was its huge property sector that had been consistently attracting record amounts of investment both domestically and from abroad.

There had been some concern that the pandemic may slow this down, but the evidence that has since surfaced actually suggests the opposite, that the local property market has, in fact, sped up.

This is, of course, in line with bumper year that the wider UK property market had in 2020 and the expected bounce for 2021 too.

With the government’s stamp duty break and tax breaks introduced over the pandemic not coming to an end until later in the year landlords and property investors have been piling into the Manchester market confident that the local economy will quickly return to its heights of 2019 and 2020.

All being said, now seems like one of the best points to either enter into this coiled spring market for the first time or increase your exposure to it. All of the signs so far are that the Manchester economy is fit, fighting and ready for a big year.

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The Manchester Recovery Plan

09 April 2021

Pre-pandemic, Manchester was considered one of the jewels in the crown that is Northern England’s economic hub, with jobs and businesses all growing at a rapid rate and construction and infrastructure all being upgraded and improved at a similar rate.

As one of Europe’s fastest growing cities, Manchester was attracting record amounts of growth and inward migration from other areas in the UK - namely the South East.

Thanks in part to the two world class universities on its doorstep, the workforce was young and diverse, and the amount of new and exciting start-ups was one of the highest on the continent too.

In property, the city was constructing new housing and living spaces at a rate to compete with anywhere else in the country and was seeing world class property being constructed weekly thanks to a booming demand for high quality and exclusive city centre living space.

It’s not that any of that has stopped, but certainly most of it was put on pause during the pandemic, and with the city being under some form of restriction since July last year, it has been a long and winding path back to normality.

With the UK now well on its way to fully re-opening its economy, the focus has now turned to how Manchester intends to recover and flourish post-Covid.

Transport

Mayor Andy Burnham made public transport and infrastructure central to his campaign and just a few weeks until the next mayoral election, Burnham has announced that the city intends to take the bus network of Greater Manchester back under public control, with private companies instead bidding for contracts to run certain routes.

Burnham has said that he is intending to ensure that companies will provide green transport options and that the city will introduce a scheme similar to London’s Oyster card to pay for numerous transport options. He has also promised lower fares across the region and also plans to expand the tram network to all Greater Manchester boroughs.

Business confidence

One of the central aspects of the recovery will depend on the confidence of businesses and their investment into the city this year and beyond.

As one of Manchester’s greatest strengths, it’s important for wealth creation and jobs that it returns to the position of strength it was in before the pandemic.

There is good news on this front - according to the Business Desk, “Optimism is returning to Greater Manchester businesses following the roll out of the vaccination programme.

According to the findings of this quarter’s Economic Survey conducted by Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce, the index has moved into positive territory for the first time since April 2020 as all three sector groups – services, manufacturing and construction showing signs of recovery after the economic shock of 2020.”

Manchester property

Finally, the city’s strongest section of the economy was its huge property sector that had been consistently attracting record amounts of investment both domestically and from abroad.

There had been some concern that the pandemic may slow this down, but the evidence that has since surfaced actually suggests the opposite, that the local property market has, in fact, sped up.

This is, of course, in line with bumper year that the wider UK property market had in 2020 and the expected bounce for 2021 too.

With the government’s stamp duty break and tax breaks introduced over the pandemic not coming to an end until later in the year landlords and property investors have been piling into the Manchester market confident that the local economy will quickly return to its heights of 2019 and 2020.

All being said, now seems like one of the best points to either enter into this coiled spring market for the first time or increase your exposure to it. All of the signs so far are that the Manchester economy is fit, fighting and ready for a big year.

Will Leyland

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