Manchester - The City of Growth

Manchester – The City of Growth

29 May 2019

Manchester, a city currently tormenting the masses with roadworks at every major junction. It’s also a city leading the construction boom being experienced across the North West. As the rest of the country slowly awakes from its slumber, experiencing a 0.4% increase in construction output in February 2019[1], the North West, and Manchester in particular, continues to see an increase in the number of construction projects.

Continuing on from a tremendous Aug-Nov 2018, which saw total construction output increase by almost 15% compared to Aug-Nov 2017[2], the market is showing no signs of slowing down with the number of cranes lining the Manchester skyline increasing year-on-year.

In the last 12 months, Manchester has posted record breaking numbers, in line with some of the top performing cities in Europe:[3]

  • Over 14,000 residential units under construction across 48 developments.
  • Anticipated residential delivery over the next three years due to exceed the previous 10 years combined.
  • Construction commenced on 44 new schemes.
  • 13 office developments totalling over 2 million sq ft began construction.
  • Significant investment resulted in over 1 million sq ft of education and research space.

Boasting three high level universities, the growth in construction arises from the student population. It’s estimated 65% of graduates of universities in Manchester stay in the city after graduating[4] and 36%, who were originally from Manchester and studied outside the city, return home.

Development projects across Manchester has contributed to the increase of welfare units hired to sites. The most common choice for SMEs and subcontractors is the 12 ft welfare unit, encompassing a drying room, rest area and storage facility, and a silent generator, making it the ideal welfare unit for large sites. These can be hired from PAL Hire for an excellent rate. Enquire with our team.

The student boom, coupled with a range of employment opportunities in the financial, professional, and scientific sectors, fuels the demand for additional office space which, in turn, fuels the need for additional homes and residential areas.

The Changing Skyline of Manchester

In 2006 (yes, it was that long ago), the skyline of Manchester changed forever when the Beetham Tower opened its doors for the first time. For years, it ruled the roost as the tallest building in Manchester and the tallest building outside London.

This all changed in 2018, when construction began on a range of towers in Deansgate Square: North, East, South, and West. All towers will be over 400 ft and the South Tower will be 659 ft, making it the tallest tower in Manchester.

Over the next few years, more towers will be erected. Nine towers are currently under construction, four of which will stand over 400 ft tall.

18 towers have already been approved for construction. Five of these towers will be over 400 ft, and the skyline will change once again once the construction of Trinity Tower X is completed.

Trinity Tower X, once completed, will overtake both the Beetham Tower and Deansgate Square South Tower to be the tallest building in Manchester, as well as the tallest building in the UK outside of London.

The Rise of Pre-Let Construction

Pre-letting is an agreement between a potential tenant and a developer to lease a building whose construction has not yet started. Pre-let construction points to a market that is under immense pressure; a huge imbalance between supply and demand.

It may come as no surprise, but Manchester’s office market has been this way for over 12 months, with several pre-let buildings still being in construction in 2018[5], including:

  • 225,000 sq ft to at The Goods Yard, St John’s;
  • 157,000 sq ft to GPU Government Hub at Three New Bailey, Salford;
  • 89,500 sq ft at Hanover, NOMA to Amazon;
  • 22,500 sq ft at the ABC Building currently under refurbishment to Farm Group;
  • 45,000 sq ft at Two New Bailey, Salford to Eversheds Sutherland;
  • 53,839 sq ft at First Street to WSP;
  • 26,500 sq ft at 8 First Street to Odeon.

Pre-letting makes the market a hotbed for companies looking to expand their national reach; the city is simply being held back by the availability of office space. Office space that will increase as a result of the numerous projects over the next few years.

HS2 and Manchester

Alongside the construction work taking place, the arrival of HS2 within the Manchester transport industry could create a huge impact on not only travel within the UK, but also commuting distances.

HS2 will undoubtedly bring about an improvement in local transport networks as Local Authorities will want to take advantage of the extra capacity and connectivity HS2 will bring. In total, through new jobs, new homes, and an improvement to the infrastructure of Manchester’s transport network, it is estimated HS2 could double the economic output of Greater Manchester.

The HS2 will link Manchester with London on a greater scale than ever before. An estimated travel time of 68 minutes, significantly reducing travel times, and, potentially, giving rise to a new type of commuter. Working and living in different cities may be a thing of the past due to the HS2.

Manchester, an ever expanding, vibrant, cosmopolitan city with the ability to compete with the biggest cities in the world. Manchester, a thriving powerhouse, paving the way for others follow. Manchester, the NEW second city?