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NW creative & digital sector set to grow by over 10% by 2028

TWO new reports, published by global commercial real estate firm Avison Young, show that both Manchester and Liverpool’s creative and digital sectors are predicted to see growth of more than 10% within the next five years – with 10.7% growth anticipated across the wider North West region. 

According to data from Oxford Economics, which features in Avison Young’s Manchester and Liverpool Outlook reports, the creative and digital sectors are leading the way in both cities, with 11.8% and 10.1% growth expected in Manchester and Liverpool, respectively. 

While Liverpool’s creative, digital and technology ecosystem continues to build, having doubled in size since 2012, Manchester has seen a 79% increase in creative and digital employment within the last ten years. Now, new waves of both commercial and residential developments will be required to match the potential growth of these sectors. 

Other sectors fuelling regional growth include health and life sciences, integral to both Liverpool and Manchester’s economies, and hospitality, which is expected to see growth of almost 12% in Manchester and 9% in Liverpool by 2028. Advanced manufacturing is also one of Liverpool’s key strengths, with its strategically significant location for industrial occupiers and its multimodal port’s proximity to 50% of UK manufacturing sites. 

Despite the recent axing of the Manchester leg of HS2 – the proposition for which was built on enhancing connectivity between Manchester, the wider North West region and London – the anticipated growth of the creative and digital sectors looks set to bring further investment into the North West and bolster the regional economy. 

The government’s pledge to invest £12 billion in improving rail links between Manchester and Liverpool will also play a critical role in growing the creative, digital and tech ecosystems across the cities and the region. 

The launch of Avison Young’s new Outlook reports was preceded by events in Manchester and Liverpool last week, featuring panel discussions with key regional decision-makers on the current and emerging growth opportunities in both cities, and the importance of public and private sector partnerships in stimulating investment into the economy. 

Stephen Cowperthwaite, Regional Managing Director for Liverpool and Managing Director of UK Regions at Avison Young UK, said:  “Liverpool’s strengths in advanced manufacturing, health and life sciences, and the digital and creative industries will be instrumental in creating new jobs and retaining and attracting talent to drive the city forward. The revitalisation of the docks in the north of the city, alongside the transformation of the region’s towns, will act as catalysts for wider regeneration investment. All of this is fuelled by the region’s famous cultural offer, paving the way for the city region’s next chapter and the delivery of real social, environmental, and economic value.” 

Lynn Haime, CEO at Baltic Creative CIC, said: “Around 9% of businesses in the Liverpool City Region sit within the creative and digital sector, and Baltic Creative CIC and the wider regeneration of the Baltic Triangle area has been a core enabler of the growth of this sector. Now, with around 100 businesses based in the Baltic Creative neighbourhood, operating across broad and diverse industries, we’re seeing the growth of a vibrant and innovative community which sits as an exemplar, regionally, nationally and internationally, of how to nurture and grow a creative and digital ecosystem.” 

For more information on Avison Young and to view its Manchester and Liverpool Outlook reports, visit: www.avisonyoung.co.uk/country-outlook/urban-futures

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