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One of the fastest growing tech cities in Europe, Manchester’s future rides on its thriving digital economy

Over the past two decades, Manchester has transformed into a destination for creative, digital and tech businesses to start up and scale up.

Over the past two decades, Manchester has transformed into a destination for creative, digital and tech businesses to start up and scale up – and it now boasts internationally renowned brands, such as THG, among its 10,000-strong list of homegrown digital companies. 

The digital ecosystem in Manchester is one of the most exciting in the UK and is driving considerable growth across the city and wider borough. In fact, according to a 2023 report from commercial real estate firm Avison Young, Manchester’s creative and digital sector is predicted to grow by 11.8% over the next five years. 

But what does this mean for the real estate market? Since 2014, Manchester has seen a 79% increase in employment within the creative and digital sector, and this trajectory is likely to continue in the long-term, attracting new occupiers to the city. 

New waves of both commercial and residential developments will soon be urgently needed to match the projected growth of the city’s digital economy. Barry Crichton, regional managing director for Manchester at Avison Young UK, is writing a feature on the positive outlook for the city region and how the creative and digital sector is crucial to Manchester’s elevation to the status of a ‘global city’. 

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