Manchester: Modern from the Very Beginning

Just a day or two ago, we talked about the Manchester housing market stealing the limelight from London. Here’s a peek at what makes Manchester the amazing city that it is. 

Image from: https://www.visitmanchester.com/
Image from: https://www.visitmanchester.com/

Manchester, UK, might best be known for being the world’s first industrialised city — besides being home to just a couple of popular football clubs, of course. Once a manorial township with peasants working the field for the Lord of the Manor, the city of Manchester is now renowned for being one of the most modern cities on Earth following a multitude of revolutionary discoveries.

Manchester’s History

Manchester began expanding “at an astonishing rate” around the turn of the 19th century as people flocked to the city for work from Scotland, Wales, Ireland and other areas of England following a boom in textile manufacturing during the Industrial Revolution. It developed a wide range of industries, so that by 1835 “Manchester was without challenge the first and greatest industrial city in the world.” — Cotton spinning was Manchester’s specialty; it made them the largest marketplace for cotton goods!

Fun fact: In Australia, New Zealand and South Africa, the term “manchester” is still used for household linen: sheets, pillowcases, towels, etc.

Manchester went on to accumulate a fair share of world firsts: the world’s first IVF baby was conceived in Oldham, Greater Manchester in 1978, the atom was first split and graphene first isolated at the University of Manchester in 1917 and 2004 respectively, the first stored program computer was also built in the University of Manchester in 1949  — these groundbreaking milestones were reached in just one city, three of which occurred in one building!

Fun fact: The University of Manchester has 25 Nobel Prize winners. This has landed them in the top 25 schools with the most Nobel-winning affiliates!

Manchester Today

Manchester is known as the UK’s 2nd largest city and is also the third-most visited city in the UK, after London and Edinburgh. Additionally, in 2014, the Globalization and World Cities Research Network ranked Manchester as a beta world city, the highest-ranked British city apart from London. Manchester was also touted UK’s Most Liveable City in 2013 according to the Global Liveability Survey.

A colossal amount of money has been put into Manchester’s development as part of the British government’s Northern Powerhouse push. Starting from 2017, £1 billion will be spent to transform the Manchester airport, further establishing Manchester as one of the most connected cities in the world. The city already boasts direct connections to many of the world’s major capitals, like New York, Hong Kong, Singapore and Beijing. The project is set to be completed by 2023. Another development in Manchester’s transport system is the new High Speed Rail (HS2), still under construction, which will cut travel time between Manchester and London from the current 2 hours to just over an hour when it is ready, and, in its second phase, also reduce the time required to travel to Birmingham and Leeds. The first phase of the £56bn railway is due to open in December 2026. The onward legs to Manchester and Leeds is set to open by 2032-33.

In addition to Manchester’s connectedness is its technological growth — Manchester is Europe’s second largest creative tech hub! With a GVA of £4.1 billion, 82,300 people working in creative and digital companies and over 7500 creative and tech companies, Manchester is a place where creativity and technology are jointly driving the next wave of innovation.

Supporting Manchester’s digital expansion are the four leading universities in the area. These establishments have a proven track record for collaborating with production on ground-breaking research and development in areas from health to data analytics, cyber security, text mining and cloud computing. The universities also produce a constant stream of highly-skilled computer science graduates which further bolsters the industry.

With all these ranks and progress, it is no surprise that Manchester’s property market flourishes just as much. Manchester registered a 7.3% increase in house prices over the entirety of the year 2017 following an undersupply, topping the list of all cities in the UK. Manchester has also topped the list of the best UK property hotspots in 2018 according to The Property Hub — in a recent Property Hub podcast, they discussed how Manchester is becoming the “London of the North”.

Here’s a video that captures Manchester’s essence: 

Found below is a short recap denoting Manchester’s success:

  • Birthplace of the Industrial Revolution
  • Where the world’s first IVF baby was conceived
  • 25 Nobel prize winners
  • Where they split the atom and isolated graphene
  • Where the world’s first stored program computer was built
  • Population of 2.7 million people
  • Over 200 languages
  • With 50% growth in the last 10 years, Manchester is the UK’s fastest-growing city and Europe’s second largest creative tech hub
  • Around 70,000 people now work in the city’s creative, digital and tech industries
  • A rich talent pool of over 110,000 thinkers from four leading universities
  • Between 2015 and 2017, over £1 billion was spent on the city’s infrastructure
  • Direct flights to many of the world’s cities, e.g. New York, Hong Kong, Singapore, Beijing etc.
  • Called the UK’s second city
  • Global exporters of world-class culture as well as technology; a city united by a passion for sport and music
  • One of the world’s best places to visit in 2015 — the only British city to be given this accolade by the New York Times
  • Home to some of the world’s biggest brands which contribute to Manchester’s £50 billion economy

To add to Manchester’s already exceptional list of prosperity are several interesting facts:

  • Chetham Library, Long Millgate which opened in 1653 and is still open to public today, is the oldest free public reference library in the United Kingdom
  • A car fuelled only by coffee grounds, nicknamed the ‘car-puccino’, constructed in Manchester made a trip from London to Manchester in 2010
  • Manchester is the only place in the world where you can obtain a degree in ‘Mummy Studies’ – the University of Manchester has facilities to enable the study of ancient Egyptian mummies
  • Emmeline Pankhurst, the leader of the Suffragette movement in the UK, was born and raised in Moss Side, Manchester

With Manchester’s rich history, participation in the digital age, expanding transport system, flourishing property market and more, one would be regretful not to see how they can get involved with this blossoming city. Manchester’s property market in particular, following a housing shortage, would be most advantageous for investors looking for the next big thing.

 

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