Manchester trends for 2022

The past 12 months has been an exciting time for Manchester’s growing economy, in the 2020/21 period alone the number of new businesses created in the North-West of England grew by 19% outpacing the 15% average across the UK overall. We’re pleased to say one of the newest businesses venturing into the north was us – The PHA Group, launching our exciting Northern division in August.

With the North-West economy continuing to show signs of positive growth post-pandemic here are our predictions for the three key trends to anticipate for in 2022.

Levelling Up
More and more businesses are likely to move their central HQ’s up north as companies continue to seek to tap in to the immense talent pool that lies outside of the capital. This comes as no shock with London’s population set to decline for the first time in over 30 years.

An example of this is international independent videogame developer Cloud Imperium Games who announced in November that they will open a new game development studio in Manchester’s Enterprise City district, scheduled for May 2022. The studio will create more than 700 jobs in the metropolitan area by 2023.

In just the last month freight logistics firm Harbour International Freight also decided to relocate to Manchester and make Trafford Park its new UK headquarters. The deal reflects the high demand for space at Trafford Park due to its easy access to transport links and its proximity to other local, regional, and national companies.

As a consequence of a booming local economy and the cheaper cost of living many young professionals from around the UK are moving to Manchester to join the already enterprising community within the city. Continuous upskilling nationwide is vital for levelling up the North and creating highly skilled jobs in the long-term.

Hybrid Hospitality
Like many other cities in the UK, Manchester has seen an increase the number of workers spending half of their week working from home. Manchester-based recruitment firm Sellick Partnership stated in an article on the Manchester Evening News that there are many benefits for working at home especially in professional services disciplines. After running a poll on their LinkedIn they found many workers would prefer a hybrid approach consisting of both work from home options and working in the office.

Many Hotels and other hospitality venues have noticed the increase in hybrid work and have taken the opportunity to expand their services by offering multi-purpose stay options including workspaces. For example, the Village Hotel in Liverpool has teamed up with new venue-sourcing app Swurf to connect remote workers with workspaces.

Restaurants and bars will also be affected by the new hybrid work trend. City-centre venues that were once in high demand every day of the week will see fluctuations based on when employees choose to go into the office. When they aren’t it’s the small independent restaurants in the suburbs that are going to become the new ‘places to be’.

This may be harder for restaurants to adjust to, but one solution for maintaining demand even when workers are not in the city is to adopt a targeted PR strategy. Use the power of earned media and social word of mouth to make your restaurant ‘the place to be’ so people will travel to experience what you have to offer – regardless of proximity.

Stepping up Sustainability
Greater Manchester is set to adopt an accelerated ambition to become a zero-carbon city by the year 2038, making it one of the first cities to do so. The proposed Levelling Up Deal will provide communities with greener homes, sustainable transport and remove one million tonnes of carbon from the region’s economy.

It will be interesting to see which businesses, councils and industry bodies race to develop sustainable services within the city. Lots have done so in London already but we’re now seeing an increasing number of sustainable start-ups emerging in the North-West. As this industry becomes increasingly competitive these businesses will need to think on their feet and communicate what it is that makes them different.

It’s a hugely exciting time to be a part of this growth and I for one can’t wait to see what the new year has in store.

If you’d like to discuss your communications plans for the new year why not get in touch with our award-winning team today.

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