Manchester leads pack in Cushman’s UK Cities report

Rachael Tinniswood

Manchester has won the title of the best place to do business, outside of London, for the second year running in property adviser Cushman & Wakefield's annual UK Cities Monitor report.

The report, which is carried out by Taylor Nelson Sofres on behalf of Cushman & Wakefield, surveys senior company executives on their perception of factors such as transport links, staff resources, office accommodation and quality of life, in 15 of the country's largest cities.

Manchester was also judged to be the best city for a new headquarters building, and for a back office function, again for the second year in a row, while it was ranked first as the city doing the most to improve and promote itself.

The city fell in only four rankings, including value for money, availability of office space, and cost of staff, although the report noted that these could be attributed to the success of the city over the past 12 months.

Liverpool took joint second place with Leeds as the city doing the most to improve itself, and third place as the city doing the most to promote itself, as well as rising by three places to rank eighth as the best city in terms of value for money of office space. In other categories, though, it fell in ranking by between one to eight places compared to last year's results.

Tony Bray, head of the Manchester office of Cushman & Wakefield, said: "We are very pleased that Manchester has further strengthened its position as the UK's second city and has continued to boost its profile as a city that is continuing to improve itself. In the current market it is imperative for cities to distinguish themselves and Manchester's ability to respond to key business relocation decisions is demonstrated by its status within the business community.

"The last decade has seen a step change in the quality of the city region and its offer and this will continue to significantly increase with the advent of MediacityUK from 2010 onwards. Manchester is aiming to compliment rather than compete with London and will continue to attract UK and International corporates. Whilst the city region should not rest on its laurels it is as well placed as possible to perform through the economic uncertainty which we now face."

UK Cities Monitor 2008: The best city in which to locate a business today

Rank 2008 (2007) City
1. (1) London
2. (2) Manchester
3. (3) Birmingham
4. (5) Leeds
5. (4) Bristol
6. (6) Glasgow
7. (8) Edinburgh
8. (7) Newcastle
9. (10) Cardiff
10. (12) Sheffield
11. (9) Liverpool
12. (11) Nottingham
13. (13) Southampton
14. (15) Belfast
15. (14) Reading

UK Cities Monitor 2008: The best city by different criteria

Factor Number 1 City
#2 #3
Best city for a new headquarters Manchester
London Birmingham
Best city for a new back office function Manchester
Leeds Sheffield
Best city for a new call centre Newcastle
=2 Glasgow =2 Leeds
Best city for hotel accommodation London
Manchester Birmingham
City doing the most to improve itself Manchester
Leeds Liverpool
City doing the most to promote itself Manchester
Birmingham Liverpool
Best city for easy access to markets London
Manchester Birmingham
Best city for value for money office space Leeds
Cardiff =3 Sheffield
=3 Belfast
Best city for recruiting qualified staff London
Manchester Leeds
Best city for cost of staff Newcastle
Leeds Sheffield
Best city for availability of office space Birmingham
=2 Leeds =2 London
Best city for external transport links London
Birmingham Manchester
Best city for international transport links London
Manchester Birmingham
Best city for availability of financial incentives London
Sheffield Liverpool
Best city for internal transport London
Manchester Glasgow
Best city for car parking Manchester
Newcastle Birmingham
Best city for quality of life for employees Edinburgh
Cardiff Bristol
Best city for retail and leisure facilities London
Manchester Leeds
Best city for freedom from pollution Edinburgh
Cardiff Southampton
City with the greenest reputation Edinburgh
London Bristol
Best city for a lively environment London
Manchester Leeds

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