Midas helps create 1,600 Greater Manchester jobs

Michael Hunt

Manchester's inward investment agency, Midas, has posted its half-year end results today, showing record job creation figures.

The agency said 1,600 Greater Manchester jobs were created from Midas-related projects in the six months to the end of September.

The list of companies who have invested in Greater Manchester within the last six months includes the Arts Council, The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman, BMI Healthcare and Credit Suisse. The area has also seen major expansions by the Bank of New York Mellon and US-owned Teletech.

Midas, chaired by Bruntwood's Michael Oglesby and with board members from BT, Tesco, The Co-operative Bank and KPMG, said it surpassed its target for the period.

The proposed investment into Trafford from the Spanish-owned packaging company SAICA, announced in October, has not been included. The firm is expected to create a further 250 jobs to the region.

In addition, Midas extended its account management of foreign-owned companies already located in Greater Manchester to over 500 firms, in order to better secure existing employment and to look to win expansions wherever possible.

Colin Sinclair, chief executive of Midas, nonetheless, is warning against complacency. He said: "The second half of this financial year will be extremely tough, with the meltdown of the global financial markets impacting hard on all of Midas' projects relating to indigenous business growth, inward investment, airport route development and property schemes."

Speaking at the recent Rochdale Development Agency Annual Conference, Sinclair said he hoped key public sector relocations from London, including the BBC move to MediaCityUK, will continue during the difficult economic climate.

Commenting on the Association of Greater Manchester's Authority's bid for a multi-billion pound investment in the area's transport network, Sinclair added: "The up to £3bn investment through the TIF bid would be Greater Manchester's best chance to come through the next three years ahead of its UK and European rivals."

Despite his cautionary tone, Sinclair added he expects "one or two" major investment wins to be possible in the second half of the year.

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