Manchester skyline from Stories, p Marketing Manchester

Manchester's skyline has continued to change as the years have gone by. Credit: via Marketing Manchester


MIPIM 2024 | Accelerating Greater Manchester’s growth will benefit everyone

Bev Craig (800x800)

If we’re to accelerate Greater Manchester’s growth at scale, we need to ensure that everyone in our region can share in that success, writes Cllr Bev Craig, Leader of Manchester City Council and lead on economic issues for Greater Manchester Combined Authority.

It would be easy to assume when looking at the phenomenal growth that has taken place in our region over the last two decades that Manchester’s growth journey is complete. However, Manchester and Greater Manchester hold a huge amount of potential yet to be realised, and the firm foundations we have put in place give us an unrivalled platform to achieve that ambition.

Manchester remains on a trajectory of growth, demonstrably good growth, bucking the trend of many other European cities. Our wider region has ambition, vision and, importantly, the space that provides opportunity to grow at scale.

Our focus will be to build on our strengths – our history of innovation, our track record of working in partnership, and our ability to deliver investment that our residents directly benefit from.

For me, Manchester cannot become the leading global city we aspire to be if our residents are not able to feel the benefit of our mutual success, and this means opening pathways to training, development, and employment right across the city to improve prosperity for all.

A strong, global city in a well-connected city region. Manchester’s success is intertwined with the success of Greater Manchester as a region.

Attending MIPIM 2024 is a chance to show the international investment community the strength of our ambition, our track record of delivery, the strength of our working relationships and the opportunities our city-region can offer.

MIPIM is a catalyst for creating a more prosperous city region – but crucially, a more equal one.

A world-class city for everyone

A skyline of new skyscrapers might be a commonly thought of symbol of a successful, modern city. But they tell only one part of our city’s success story. We have a sound strategy that will allow our growth to remain ambitious while ensuring it is done in a sustainable and inclusive way.

Economic success is the lynchpin of Greater Manchester’s ambition to become a world-class region for our people to live, get on, do business and thrive. However, when we talk about fuelling growth, and building on the success of the last two decades, it’s important to remember what Greater Manchester is and who it is for.

A fairer, greener economy with economic and social prosperity at its core will be a central tenet of our conversations at MIPIM 2024.

Here’s how we plan to achieve this:

Driving businesses into the city

Greater Manchester benefits from a diverse economy, with sector strengths in digital and technology, life sciences, advanced materials and manufacturing, creative and media, net zero, and financial and professional services.

Successful cities do not rest on one sector alone. In Greater Manchester, we ensure that cross-sector collaboration and integration with our universities keeps our business community innovative and exciting.

With the announcement of our advanced manufacturing investment zone and ambitious plans for innovation districts such as ID-Manchester and Atom Valley, we’re creating an enticing offer for many global businesses to join us and create pathways to jobs for our residents and drive prosperity into our communities. ID Manchester alone represents a new £1.7bn innovation district in the heart of the city, which will create over 10,000 new jobs across 4m square feet of commercial, retail and residential floorspace – it will be the world’s next great innovation district.

Becoming a hub for talent

Our world-leading universities attract the best global and local talent, and Manchester achieves some of the highest graduate retention rates in the UK. Our world-class lifestyle, cultural and sporting offerings – which have been bolstered further with the opening of Aviva Studios and the upcoming Co-op Live arena – mean Manchester is attracting new residents at a prodigious rate.

With our devolution deal fuelling an ambition to create the UK’s first integrated technical education system, our region can give local people the skills that these key sectors need to succeed, resulting in great jobs and opportunities for Mancunians opting for a non-university education.

With so many opportunities and amenities on our doorstep, talent is flocking to Manchester and bringing with it a wave of businesses and investment.

Creating great places to live

We believe that decent housing that our residents can afford in places they want to live is the cornerstone of a happy, healthy and prosperous life. Meet this need and we create the foundations for success in other parts of a person’s life.

But meeting this demand is a major challenge – and increasingly so as our population continues to grow at pace.

To meet the needs of our growing city, we have made a clear commitment through our Housing Strategy in Manchester alone to help build 36,000 homes of all types across our city by 2032. At least 10,000 of these homes will be social, Council and genuinely affordable homes.

Bringing together our ambitions for home building, placemaking and large-scale strategic regeneration, to the north of the city centre you will find the North of England’s biggest urban regeneration project. Victoria North will deliver 15,000 new homes over the next 15 years, along with a new river park, a new Metrolink stop and community facilities such as schools and health care facilities. Jointly developed by FEC and Manchester City Council and with a gross development value of £4 billion, Victoria North will span 155 hectares and seven neighbourhoods over the next 20 years.

This means investing in communities across our city – not just the city centre. Driving regeneration in our district centres is a keen focus for us in the coming years.

Redevelopment projects at Wythenshawe Civic Centre, Gorton high street, Moston Lane, Strangeways, Cheetham Hill, and Withington – to name a few – are examples of our intent to create vibrant destinations in our communities and support local economies.

The Wythenshawe town centre development plan, recently boosted by the announcement of a £20 million kickstart from the Government’s Levelling Up Fund, represents a once-in-a-generation opportunity in South Manchester to transform the 1970s shopping centre and surrounding cleared land and car parks through an aspirational programme of development to deliver a net zero carbon commercial and cultural space, new shops, new public square and around 1,600 new mixed-tenure homes.

This is echoed across the region in the redevelopment of Wigan, Bury, Bolton, Oldham and Stockport – creating mixed-use town centres that allow businesses to thrive while contributing to the public realm. This is reflected in our growth locations. For example, Atom Valley will integrate state-of-the-art manufacturing infrastructure for businesses with good housing and transport links for residents.

Connecting people to opportunity

A reliable and integrated transport system is the lynchpin for growth and is key to ensuring that every resident in Greater Manchester is able to benefit from our economic success story.

We don’t want our people to need to own and drive a car to access the job they want. That’s why our region has started the biggest reform of public transport in recent times, creating The Bee Network, an integrated London-style public transport system that is reliable, affordable and simple – alongside new and improved walking and cycling routes, increasing opportunities for active travel.

Greening Greater Manchester

The way in which we grow today lays the groundwork for the city region future generations will inherit. This means tackling the impacts of climate change, investing in green technologies, and developing a city-wide sustainable infrastructure – including low-carbon public transport, and retrofitting homes and public buildings.

Development needs to play its parts – and our development partners in Manchester share our commitment to a low-carbon future.

Major developments in Manchester, such as Mayfield – as well as the new Mayfield Park – St John’s and NOMA set the standard for low carbon construction. These programmes prove that cities can work successfully with developers to create greener, fairer places to live – and set a precedent not just for future developments here, but for other cities globally.


We judge our success for what we achieve for our city. In the boardroom or at MIPIM our approach is the same- delivering opportunities that create jobs, opportunities and homes for our residents, and success for our city.

Attending MIPIM 2024 is a way of connecting with the international investment community which can help make our ambitions to build upon our past success a reality.

It is a showcase of our vision and the strength of the partnerships – public and private – that we are famed for. It is our opportunity to position Manchester as a great place to invest and do business and reassert the investor confidence that has driven our growth in recent years.

MIPIM 2024 is our chance to forge new relationships with international investors and property professionals who share our vision and can help drive our inclusive growth journey as a leading global city over the next decade and beyond.

  • Cllr Bev Craig is the Leader of Manchester City Council and leads on economic issues for Greater Manchester Combined Authority.

Cllr Bev Craig will be attending MIPIM in March, alongside other Greater Manchester leaders. To learn more about attending MIPIM with the Manchester Invest Partnership or to view the full programme of events on the Manchester stand visit

Your Comments

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Incredible city to be part of

By Anonymous

If Manchester wants to aspire to be a truly global city it will have to make greater efforts with regard to the new developments popping up all over the city. Greater care should be taken with regard to design. Many of the recent developments are mediocre, banal orange, gray and white shoe boxes. It really is a make or break situation.

By John

Whilst the above reads well to put into practice the contents of it is difficult
The simple fact is that regardless of what is said the ordinary Mancunian working in Manchester and its surrounds is being priced out of buying or letting residential accomadation
Instead we are seeing more and more foreign students and Companies taking up the space in the many recent builds and this trend shows no sign of abating

By Harry

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