How Technology is Powering the Economy in Manchester

Posted on 22 October, 2011 by MOVEHUT

Commercial property in Manchester is set to benefit from a new initiative – the Manchester Growth Hub.

The Manchester Growth Hub has been set up to assist businesses in the Manchester area that are looking to expand, whether by taking on more commercial property, by accessing advice and information, or by utilising support from other Manchester-based organisations.

These organisations include pro.manchester, suppliers of business advice to companies already occupying or considering leasing commercial property in Manchester.

The Manufacturing Advisory Service is on board, providing Manchester businesses with support in all areas, from maximising efficiency to help in raising productivity.

Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce will be available to supply advocacy, training and other services to Manchester commercial property occupiers as part of the scheme.

Plans for the Manchester Growth Hub were reportedly drawn up during a meeting of the Greater Manchester Local Enterprise Partnership. The partnership is designed to help the private and public sector work together to design strategies and create jobs to encourage growth in all sectors of Manchester’s economy including commercial property, marketing, tourism, transport, and science and innovation.

Manchester has seen a sustained increase in commercial property development catering for science and technology over the past twenty-five years. Manchester Science Parks, a community of knowledge-economy enterprises, have helped the sector by providing commercial property consultation to businesses in ICT, biotechnology, digital media and industrial technology.

The BBC has recognised the commercial property potential of Manchester, having recently embarked on a high-profile move of many of its operations to Salford. Manchester now has a range of commercial property spaces on offer to technological companies, including office and laboratory-based commercial property.

The Manchester Growth Hub is keen to emphasise it will not operate from one main commercial property. Instead it will offer a “distributed network” of support within Manchester. Through its Department for Business Skills and Innovation, the UK Government is keen to see this method of collaboration extended, rather than focusing on geographic hubs of commercial property. Entrepreneurs with commercial property will be encouraged to join peer-to-peer membership groups, sharing common commercial interests.

Not all companies with commercial property in Manchester will use the services; instead, 5,700 Manchester businesses have been identified as having high-growth potential and will be offered online and telephone-based guidance. Access to mentors, innovation and finance are other benefits on offer to qualifying Manchester enterprises.

A suitable supply of commercial property for Manchester technology companies is at the heart of the New Economy’s aims. The New Economy is a collection of private and public sector ‘key influencers’ who recognise the potential in Manchester to become, in their words, “an economic powerhouse”. To achieve these aims, a number of objectives have been set. Among them is the need for commercial property in Manchester to have “a better digital infrastructure”. The Manchester Digital Development Agency has been enlisted to help bring high-speed broadband to commercial property, heightening the appeal of Manchester to prospective commercial property occupiers.

The Manchester Growth Hub will be formally launched in November at Manchester City Football Club’s Etihad Stadium.

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