Research by Lambert Smith Hampton, commercial property consultants, says that the North West has seen a 131% increase in commercial property investment compared to the same period last year. In total, so far this year the North West has been given a massive £2.1billion.
The region is not alone; all of the UK has had increased investments into the commercial property sector throughout 2014. The last quarter alone saw an estimated £6billion. Lambert Smith Hampton note that this is both the highest level since pre-recession 2006, and the first time regional markets have seen greater amounts of investment than London since 2011.
Infrastructure is another sector where the North West has experienced impressive amounts of investment. Notable projects in the pipeline include ‘Northern Hub’ which is a series of improvements set to be made to various railways and stations across the north. This £600million project will speed up travel times amongst the various cities to create a sense of one fully connected ‘hub’ in the North.
More locally, in Manchester, TfGM (Transport for Greater Manchester) have recently been pleased to announce that Metrolink, the city’s light rail system, is opening the new line to the airport a whole year earlier than planned, connecting the city and the whole region better than ever before.
It is highly important that the North West continues to receive these levels of investment over the coming years. The imbalance between the capital and the rest of the country may be beginning to reaching an equilibrium, as seen by Lambert Smith Hampton’s research, however, many still think not enough is being done.
In the past year the country has been rocked by calls for devolution. Scotland may have said no to independence, but the entire vote certainly unearthed some uncertainties about the powers of Whitehall. The City Growth Commission, a 12 month enquiry into the issues raised, predicts that giving individual cities more power would, “create stronger, more inclusive and sustainable growth in the UK.”
The North West is clearly flourishing and looks set to continue with such a large number of exciting projects coming up.