MIDAS half year results significantly up

48 projects landed
Over 2,000 jobs created
Of these jobs, over half (1,114) came from Greater Manchester’s priority sectors; creative and digital, life sciences, and advanced manufacturing
58% of jobs created and safeguarded came from foreign direct investment

With the recent positive news for Manchester around devolution, and further announcements around investment in new cultural and science facilities last week, MIDAS, Manchester’s inward investment agency, has announced strong half year results which echo this positive sentiment.

The figures show that MIDAS, now part of the Manchester Growth Company, has facilitated the creation of 2,093 jobs in Greater Manchester across 48 projects during the first half of 2014/15, and that they are on track to exceed last year’s record of 4,067 jobs.

The number of jobs created, safeguarded and relocated with support from MIDAS during the first six months of the financial year was 3,372, with a GVA (Gross Value Added) economic impact of over £197million.

Financial and business services saw the highest growth with 575 jobs created in the sector, more than half of which were the result of Towergate Insurance’s new offices in Spinningfields. This is also on the back of the recent investment by Ford Credit Europe.

It is notable that there has been a significant rise of investment from the three priority sectors of life sciences, creative and digital, and advanced manufacturing.

Creative and digital businesses have now risen to the second most valuable investment sector in the city region, with 522 jobs created. Bright Future Software, based in MediaCityUK, created 200 jobs alone.

Eudie Thompson, CEO of Bright Future Software said: “Our decision to locate in Manchester came following an extensive consultation process, establishing which site offered the optimum strategic base in terms of amenities and access to labour market. MediaCityUK has proven to be the perfect location for our business, home to a diverse digital, IT and media infrastructure including the BBC and well connected to a large talent pipeline.

“The ease of the undertaking would not have been possible without the help of MIDAS, whose continued support is helping us to reach our goal of providing 500 jobs to Greater Manchester”

The life science sector has also seen a significant rise in job creation with 297 new jobs created, supporting the city’s investment in state-of-the-art facilities such as Citylabs, which opened in September, and Manchester Science Partnership’s expansion plans.

Advanced manufacturing brought in 295 jobs, with MBDA UK being amongst the success stories.

The new jobs created were the result of both foreign direct investment (FDI) and UK indigenous investments. Of those created and safeguarded 58% were a result of FDI, with significant foreign investment coming from companies such as TOPdesk, Estate Master, Brown Bag Films and MED e-care.

In addition to the strong half year figures for job creation MIDAS has seen year-on-year growth in the project pipeline which currently has over 300 investment projects, with the potential to create nearly 19,000 jobs within the region, and which would have a GVA of £1.3billion.

Tim Newns, chief executive of MIDAS said “We are delighted to report continued progress halfway through the financial year, in what is still a tough but growing market. To attract this volume of projects, particularly in FDI terms, is really encouraging.

“For the remainder of the financial year, as Manchester continues to establish its self-sufficiency on the national stage, we will focus on continuing to grow the pipeline and increasing activity in our priority sectors in order to bring vital new investment opportunities into the region.

“In recent months Greater Manchester has been at the heart of the Government’s attempts to establish a Northern Powerhouse, and developments such as the £235million Sir Henry Royce Institute for Advanced Materials Research and Innovation and the £60million Graphene Engineering Innovation Centre (GEIC) will play a significant part in cementing Greater Manchester’s position as a global leader in advanced materials. This will enable us to attract innovative companies from a number of sectors who are looking to develop disruptive technologies in this field.”