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Greater Manchester (United Kingdom)

(27 February 2014)

Greater Manchester (United Kingdom)

On 27 February 2014 Commissioner for Regional and Urban Policy Johannes Hahn is in Manchester to visit the National Graphene Institute which has benefitted from an EU contribution of EUR 29.5 million. He will also meet Sir Richard Leese, Leader of Manchester City Council.

The City of Manchester has a population of around ½ million and is in the county of Greater Manchester which lies within the United Kingdom's second most populous urban area with more than 2.5 million inhabitants in the region of North West England. Greater Manchester comprises ten metropolitan boroughs: Bolton, Bury, Oldham, Rochdale, Stockport, Tameside, Trafford, Wigan, and the cities of Manchester and Salford. Its economy is largely service based and particularly strong in the creative, digital, manufacturing and finance sectors.


In addition to Greater Manchester, the North West England region comprises the counties of Merseyside, Cumbria, Lancashire and Cheshire. In 2007-2013 EU regional policy investments have been made to enhance the research capacity and the fostering of productive links between universities and businesses in the region. To date EU regional policy has helped create 19 000 jobs and 6 600 new businesses in North West England.


What are the region’s priorities?


The North West of England’s priorities are:


  • Development and creation of high value new enterprises;
  • Research and Innovation: exploiting the science and research and development base of the region, encouraging innovation to improve productivity in all companies and developing better management and leadership;
  • Creating the conditions for sustainable growth by developing high quality sites and premises of regional importance and enhancing the region's image for business and tourism;
  • Job creation for more vulnerable groups and in regenerated areas.


How has EU regional policy contributed?

For the 2007-13 period, the North West of England received a total EU contribution of EUR 756 m. Greater Manchester shares 60% (around EUR 450 million) with three other counties – Cheshire, Lancashire and Cumbria, 40 % being allocated to Merseyside which includes the city of Liverpool.


Project examples

National Institute for Graphene Research  : EU contribution £ 23 m

Located in the University of Manchester, the Institute builds on the research leadership of two Nobel winning scientists who isolated graphene in 2004. It co-operates with other universities, research centres and companies in applied research which helps take graphene from the laboratory to the market place, strengthening Europe’s competitiveness in the growing global market for graphene applications. The EU investment will contribute to the cost of constructing and fitting out a 7,626 m2 applied research facility as well as the purchase of equipment.


Regional Business Start Up:  EU contribution £4.9 m

This project provides intensive and specialist services and support for people considering setting up in business. It also aims at improving survival rates of businesses through targeted support for up to 36 months and therefore contributes towards increased levels of enterprise activity. It has helped create 4,661 businesses, 2,620 individuals to start a business and created 7,000 jobs.


The Landing (The Media Enterprise Centre): EU contribution £6.85m

The Landing at MediaCity, Salford Quays is a state-of-the-art space offering the very latest in media technologies. Managed by Salford City Council, it features studio services, high value managed workspace and high specialised connectivity. It also houses the UK’s only utility rooms for testing and analysing games and interactive technologies. It aims to support the local growth of the media sector and place it on the world stage.


Manchester Victoria Interchange: EU contribution £7.91 m

This project aims at creating an expanded Manchester Victoria Interchange at Manchester Victoria Station, the city's second largest mainline railway station. It will significantly increase network capacity and flexibility, helping to reduce the carbon impact on the city centre economy, to generate economic developments and connect distant suburbs with the city centre.


Citylabs:  EU contribution £ 4.75 m

The former Royal Eye Hospital is under renovation to become a centre of excellence for the biomedical sector in the form of Citylabs. Citylabs with 100,000 sq ft surface area features high-specification flexible office and laboratory space. Located on Oxford Road, it sits within Europe’s largest clinical and academic campus, made up of Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and The University of Manchester. Citylabs will open in Spring 2014 and has already secured its first customer, ICON Development Solutions. ICON is a global provider of development services to the pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical device industries.


Further Information:

EU co-funded Programme North West

Manchester City Council