Manchester Central

Manchester still ‘second city’ but slips in Europe rankings

Manchester has retained its position as the UK's second city for business despite slipping down the European rankings.

According to Cushman & Wakefield's annual European Cities Monitor, which is based on research from 501 businesses in nine countries, Manchester fell from 12th to 16th.

It was pushed down the rankings by Zurich, Geneva and Stockholm but was placed higher than Birmingham, a non-mover at 18, and Leeds, down five at 28. Glasgow was placed 30th and Edinburgh 31st, while London topped the list of 36 cities.

Manchester's position slipped in external transport links, telecommunications, value for money office space and the cost of staff. Its position for office availability fell from two to 14 and its ranking for the climate created by government through tax policies and financial incentives fell from 13 to 26.

However, the city gained in terms of languages spoken, internal transport and quality of life.

Tony Bray, head of Cushman & Wakefield's Manchester office, said: "Against the backdrop of the harsh economic climate Manchester's claim to be considered at the top table of European cities is justified particularly given the city's reputation for having access to a skilled, multi lingual workforce and a quality living environment.

"When you consider that the majority of top 10 cities were capital cities, Manchester has fared incredibly well and we should be proud of our achievements. Manchester is set for an exciting future with significant development at MediaCityUK, Airport City, Sports City and NOMA. Speculative development is due to start with Argent/GMPVF's St Peter's Sq anticipated on site early 2012."

Tim Newns, chief executive of inward investment body MIDAS, said: "It is clear that commercially, Manchester is now firmly within the elite group of European cities, the majority of which are capital cities such as Geneva and Stockholm.

"The city has continued to improve its profile in areas such as access to language speakers; quality of life and green credentials; and internal transport links. The only area where Manchester's rank has suffered somewhat is the availability of office space and in this case, due to an almost record year for office uptake last year, Manchester has become a victim of its own success in this category."

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