Investment totalling £600m acts as boost to Greater Manchester economy – and there is more to come
Investment designed to help generate thousands of local jobs, quality houses and the best commercial spaces for people to do business across Greater Manchester has topped £600m since the funds launched in 2015, says the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA).
The boost to the local economy includes almost £440m committed for the development of around 6,000 new homes across nearly 50 sites in the city-region, as well as £150m injected into over 220 regional businesses, creating and safeguarding 8,000 jobs.
New investments continue to be made, and in future will support the drive to transform Greater Manchester into a zero carbon city-region by 2038, 12 years ahead of national targets.
GMCA continue to encourage new applicants for funding, with a shift in strategy, prioritising the key industries and housing priorities set out in the Greater Manchester Industrial Strategy and Greater Manchester’s Plan for Homes, Jobs and the Environment.
A prestigious event was held at Chetham’s School of Music in Manchester city centre to mark the next stage of funding. Over 120 members of Greater Manchester’s business and housing community attended and heard about the work so far and the exciting opportunities.
Andy Burnham, mayor of Greater Manchester, said: “Without this significant investment over a sustained period of time many enterprises operating in Greater Manchester, employing many people and contributing significantly to the local economy, would have struggled to access finance and grow so successfully. The funding provided to house builders across the region has helped construct much needed quality housing which might otherwise not have been developed.
“Having the GMCA involved in matching private sector investment in housing and businesses is the right thing to do to ensure the diversity of the local economy is maintained and specific sectors are supported through difficult times.
“We’re now moving into an exciting new phase of operations – stand by for increased investments targeted at making a significant difference to areas of Greater Manchester that most need the Combined Authority’s support, from environmental innovators to town centre residential developments.”
Funding from the GM Investment Fund is designed to sit alongside private finance, with GMCA involvement enabling projects for businesses within Greater Manchester which otherwise might not be supported by the private sector. Sectors supported so far have included manufacturing, green energy, technology and fintech.
The investments are overseen by the Core Investment Team within the GMCA, as part of a total £635m of managed investment across housing, business and commercial property. The investments have leveraged over £1bn of private sector funding.
Panellists at Chetham’s included Paul Dennett, city mayor of Salford, Caroline Simpson, director of place at Stockport Council and Phil Mayall and Simon Daniel of Muse Developments and Moixa respectively. The panel was lead by Mo Isap, Founder and CEO of IN4.0 PLC.
Further discussion took place on the future of Greater Manchester’s town centres as employment and economic hubs, prompted by the recent government announcement of £1bn of funding from the Future High Streets Fund. Areas raised included the role of the public sector to reshape town centres and questioning what specific barriers the public sector focus on removing to enable private sector delivery.
David Molyneux, GMCA Lead on Resources, added: “Our Local Industrial Strategy, developed jointly with the Greater Manchester Local Enterprise Partnership and agreed with Government, is one of the country’s first modern local industrial strategies. It is designed to deliver an economy fit for the future, with prosperous communities across the city-region and radically increased productivity and earning power.
“Fundamentally, we want Greater Manchester to be a 21st century global pioneer at the centre of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, leading the world on health innovation, advanced materials and digital and creative industries.”