5 May 2016

I was delighted to read of Manchester’s ranking as one of Europe’s most dynamic regional economies this morning.

Above Barcelona, Edinburgh and Brazil, Manchester’s economy placed 9th out of the 12 top placing regions based upon research by the JLL City Momentum Index which took into account growth rates, corporate activity, technology and connectivity, among other factors.manchester skyline

It’s hard to deny the energy that the region has across all areas of business. Have you noticed the huge influx of cranes and building sites around the city centre lately? Or felt the buzz of one our city’s many startup hubs. It is an exciting time to be part of Greater Manchester.

For me, it is the community that sets us aside and facilitates this growth. It’s always been that way, right from the early days of my time here, when a ventured into the city at 16 looking for a career, the community took me in.

The community here is big enough to have some of the best skills, experience, facilities and knowledge in the world; yet it is small enough to genuinely care. There is a camaraderie here that I’ve never know elsewhere – maybe it’s our northern charm!

We’ve had a busy few months at UKFast Campus with events from all areas of the Manchester business community – including workshops about the latest technology, charity launch nights and student masterclasses – all of which bring the community together. You can really feel the energy in the city. I’ve been saying this for some time, but it seems that we’ve reached a new level, don’t you think?

Of course, London featured on the list and is the dominant force in the UK’s economy at the moment, but, encouragingly, predicted GDP figures show 2.2 per cent growth in Greater Manchester each year until 2020, which would see the region outperform not only the rest of the UK, but some G7 countries as well. It’s extraordinary really. We’ve been pushing for years now to place Manchester as the top tech hub in the UK and these figures show that it is possibility.

Competition between London and Manchester, or the Northern Powerhouse, is only going to see our economy grow even more. It’s an exciting time to be in business and an exciting time to be in Greater Manchester.

We have a lot more up our sleeve, to grow UKFast, to grow skills in the region – and the country – and to grow the business community and its success. The news today has put more fire in my belly and I am more focussed than ever on making our city the best it can be. To make Greater Manchester even greater.

I hope to see you at one of our events or out and about in the city too.

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