If recent years have taught us anything in the North of England, it’s that we do have the assets to compete with our Southern counterparts.

Andrew flintoff headshot

The momentum of the Northern Powerhouse, the push for devolution across many of our cities and the widespread desire to improve connectivity on a national and international level, have worked to showcase the region’s merits across the economic landscape.

Aligned by this drive and a unique Northern spirit, the region’s cities are more ambitious than ever before; implementing city-wide masterplans that cover everything from infrastructure to housing and the development of sector specific clusters.

Crucially, these masterplans reflect a more commercial approach from local authorities, who are welcoming an increase in public and private partnerships – recognising the potential that collaboration of this kind has to accelerate the growth of city-regions.

For developers, there has never been a more exciting time to be working in the North with opportunities widespread and the appetite for investment growing at pace.

This is no more apparent than in cities like Manchester, where the lure of employment opportunities, more affordable housing and an impressive cultural offering is attracting young people, families and businesses alike from the capital.

Whether looking towards the innovation happening on the Oxford Road Corridor, the exciting tech and media hub that is Media City UK, or Spinningfields, the city’s slick financial district, Manchester is bursting with sector strengths that contribute to its standing as a global city-region.

And, improving infrastructure means Manchester is becoming one of the most liveable cities in the UK. The city is home to the UK’s biggest regional airport, with new flight pathways to the likes of San Francisco, Los Angeles and Beijing introduced in recent years, and is set to benefit from the plans for HS2 as they come to fruition.

Recognising the region’s impressive merits and the development at large, Deloitte’s latest Crane Survey named Manchester as one of Europe’s fastest growing cities. City-wide partners are responding to rapid growth by quite literally extending the city centre’s parameters. It’s happening at every corner – the regeneration of the historic Castlefield district a prime example; where residential, commercial and leisure space is coming together to unlock entire new places for the growing population.

At Mipim this week, we’ll see partners embracing collaboration to support Manchester’s continued growth – be that city-wide or through forging new international links. Investors will almost certainly be watching the North’s key cities with bated breath as they aim to project their merits on the world’s biggest stage. For those of us that have lived and worked in the region for most of our lives, we’ll be looking for cities to present a future-focused outlook that brings together partners with the tools to create a sustainable legacy for the region.

Andrew Flintoff, director at Logik Developments