Foreign investment will hold firm in Manchester, says Midas

The foreign owned company sector is still robust in Greater Manchester despite the current economic climate, according to new research by Midas, Manchester's inward investment agency.

The Greater Manchester Property Analysis report, written by Savills for Midas, found that demand for office space from FOCs will remain strong over the next three years and beyond. The report found that:

  • 92% of larger FOC occupiers felt the area was a good or excellent place to do business
  • The average FOC in Greater Manchester is two and half years from the expiry of its current lease with 47% stating they had a break clause due in 2008, 2009 or 2010. 20% of respondents stated that they were actively looking for more commercial floorspace now
  • 40% of FOCs expect their staff numbers in Greater Manchester to grow over the next two years
  • Finance & banking, retail and manufacturing businesses were the most likely to be currently looking for more space with 44% expecting to move
  • Availability of premises in Greater Manchester, availability of staff, accessibility and place to do business were all rated as good or excellent by FOCs.

North American owned businesses were the most significant in the survey with 28% of respondents stating that their business was US owned. The next largest groupings were Japanese (11%) and German (9%).

Colin Sinclair, chief executive of Midas, said: "It is clear from the FOC survey that the majority of internationally-owned businesses in Greater Manchester are very satisfied with the area, with 76% of respondents stating that it was a good or excellent place to do business and 40% expecting their staff numbers in Greater Manchester to grow over the next two years.

"Demand for property is clearly linked to general macro-economic performance and even though the property market will stall in 2009 due to a slow-down in general decision making, Manchester is well positioned to prosper as the market improves in the next 12-18 months."

There are 1,200 FOCs in Greater Manchester, of which Midas account manages 500. FOCs contribute 47% to the UK economy and are regarded as being more capital intensive than UK firms.

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