Greater Manchester has recorded a strong year for inward investment, with a 50% increase in the creative and digital sector.

MIDAS, Manchester’s inward investment agency, successfully closed 63 projects in 2021,  creating  5,080 new jobs – 41% more than the pre-pandemic year of 2019.

Sectors delivering high levels of new jobs include professional services, creative and digital, with recent high value announcements, such as PwC’s tech hub in Spinningfields and the new game development studio for Cloud Imperium Games at Enterprise City.

It has also seen the largest ‘new’ office-based investment project on record, with digital streaming company Roku taking 120,000  of space at Circle Square.

MIDAS has seen a 50%  increase in the number of creative and digital sector investments into the region confirmed this year, whilst professional services brought in over £99m GVA  alone.

Tim Newns, chief executive of MIDAS, says: “We started 2021 faced with the UK’s third national lockdown and the economic challenges that brought. But Greater Manchester continued to show its resilience and tireless drive for growth, collaboration, new thinking and the development of exceptional talent and world class facilities – which is a compelling proposition for businesses looking to invest in the UK.

“Greater Manchester’s specialisms across digital and innovation sectors have shone – and we have secured the highest annual number of new jobs on record, with further major inward investment relationships being built as we head towards 2022.

“We have strengthened our position as one of the world’s leading tech cities and a growing innovation hub – welcoming new global businesses to Greater Manchester, as well as nurturing our startup and scaleup economy, and strong links between business, academia and the public sector.”

MIDAS recently supported a move to Manchester by international digital transformation and green coding specialist – GFT, which supports global financial services businesses. There has been growth across the wider financial services sector, including Warren Buffett-backed insurance market disrupter, Berkshire Hathaway, which opened its second UK HQ in Manchester to service all UK clients outside the M25.

Other projects MIDAS has supported this year include Tokyo University spinout Exergy Power Systems, ultrafast grocery delivery pioneer Getir’s electric vehicle network, and healthtech company SafeSteps, as well as growth in the cyber sector with the arrival of Roke and Sophos.