A new report by the Resolution Foundation has found that Manchester needs a bigger city centre, more office space, and better transport links if it is to grow like London.
The report, entitled "The Tale of Two Cities," warns that Manchester is "still at the foothills" of its economic revival and that it will take almost a century to close the productivity gap with London at current trends.
The report's authors argue that a bigger city centre would attract more "knowledge-intensive" businesses and highly-skilled workers. They also recommend building 126,000 more homes in "well-connected" areas and creating more office space in the city centre.
The report's findings are timely, as Manchester City Council is due to publish a new economic strategy later this year.
Why does Manchester need a bigger city centre?
A bigger city centre would attract more "knowledge-intensive" businesses and highly-skilled workers. These businesses are often drawn to cities with large, vibrant city centres that offer a variety of amenities and attractions.
A bigger city centre would also create more opportunities for collaboration and innovation. When businesses and workers are close together, they are more likely to interact and share ideas. This can lead to new products, services, and businesses being created.
Why does Manchester need more office space?
Manchester's economy is growing, and there is a strong demand for office space. However, the city's current supply of office space is limited. This is leading to high rents and a shortage of available space.
More office space would allow businesses to expand and create new jobs. It would also make Manchester more attractive to new businesses and investors.
Why does Manchester need better transport links?
Manchester's transport links are good, but they could be better. The city has a good public transport network, but it can be congested at peak times. The city also has a number of major roads, but these can also be congested.
Better transport links would make it easier for people to get to and from work, and it would also make it easier for businesses to move goods and people around. This would boost productivity and economic growth.
What can be done to make Manchester a more attractive place for businesses and workers?
In addition to the recommendations made in the Resolution Foundation report, there are a number of other things that can be done to make Manchester a more attractive place for businesses and workers. These include:
- Investing in education and skills training to ensure that Manchester has a workforce that meets the needs of businesses.
- Creating a more supportive environment for startups and small businesses.
- Making Manchester a more affordable place to live and work.
- Promoting Manchester's unique culture and heritage.
This report on Greater Manchester, and a twin paper on the Birmingham urban area, provide grounded answers to the difficult question of what would it actually take to achieve a higher-productivity future for these two great, but very different, cities.
Photo Credit: iStock