Why Manchester is leading the way as the UK’s best city for tech entrepreneurs

Record numbers of people are relocating to Manchester, which has retained its place as UK’s top tech city outside of London in 2022.

As new opportunities open up and the regional sector continues to grow, Manchester seems to be the place to be for tech entrepreneurs.

The 21st century has brought with it some exciting innovations, asserting tech as one of the most lucrative business ventures around the world.

Just look at the gambling industry, which have made billions in revenue since launching online casinos, or the retail industry, with giants like Amazon, who have become a global powerhouse, with online retail sales alone worth over $200 billion.

Manchester is one of the most prominent and exciting cities in the world, especially for those looking for a career in tech or those wanting to develop their own tech business.

The city not only leads the way with talent and bold ideas, but its top rating was boosted by its office market’s size and its access to a high-quality workforce, including proximity to institutions providing high quality tech education.

Manchester’s reasonable cost of living is also a huge pull for those wanting to join the city’s great tech community.

Many people with relevant skills gravitate towards the city, especially since the North West has developed such a strong track record for fintech.

But on top of this, Manchester itself is a wealth of talent thanks to its local universities who run leading science and technology courses – Manchester, Salford and Liverpool.

With the need for top tech talent growing, many local businesses rely heavily on the nearby graduates to supply this, and the access to this top-tier of talent is something not to be underestimated.

Being a hub for creatives isn’t something new for Manchester.

It has long been established in this department, with thousands of tech companies located across the city. Its tech scene spans many sectors of the industry, but it was the BBC’s decision to move around half of its operations to MediaCity in 2011 that was a hugely significant moment for Manchester.

It swiftly became a centre for enterprise, and ITV’s quick following cemented this. 

In the ten years following the BBC’s arrival, a report by KPMG found that the number of local digital and creative companies increased by 70%, which more than doubled the number of jobs in the tech sector.

While this was a landmark moment, it was in fact a natural step in a wider story.

Since the mid 1990’s, Manchester has undergone an extraordinary reinvention, transitioning into both a thriving post-industrial economy and a cradle of innovation.

Manchester’s impressive business scene represents a multitude of sectors, including the European HQs for brands such as Kellogg’s, Adidas, and the Co-Operative Group, and newer industry giants like Boohoo and Archie’s.

Not only is it home to these world-renowned companies, it’s also a hub for thriving new ones.

The city boasts a community of more than 10,000 digital and tech businesses, ranging from start-ups and SMEs to the global brands, as well as numerous homegrown, talented entrepreneurs.

Another factor in cementing Manchester’s innovative standing is reflected in WIRED’s Trailblazer programme.

The initiative celebrates small and medium-sized companies that are focussed on tackling some of the world’s biggest challenges.

The majority of the chosen North West Trailblazers are headquartered in Manchester, all of which are harnessing technology in a variety of different and exciting ways.

Final words

As technology leads the way for a brighter future, Manchester continues to flourish.

Not content with just being home to a £5 billion, fast-growing digital ecosystem and being the UK’s top digital tech city, it has ambitions to become a top-five European digital city in the near future.

The future is certainly bright for this exciting and innovative city.

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