Simply Abu Dhabi XXXVI

1 2 0 S I M P LY A B U DH A B I H ome to the world’s first computer, internationally renowned football clubs, and the largest student population in Europe, Manchester is quickly cementing its position as the capital of the north of England. Whilst Manchester’s international reputation has attracted world-class businesses such as Amazon and Spotify, it’s also attracted serious international investment. HH Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed al-Nahyan of the Abu Dhabi ruling family has spent more than £1.3bn directly investing into Manchester City Football Club; a further £400m of funding has also been invested by HH Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed al- Nahyan into Manchester Life. Manchester is home to a thriving social scene, a prosperous job market and an ever-evolving city centre. Central Manchester has seen a wealth of commercial investment in recent years with regeneration projects such as NOMA, Spinningfields and Ancoats. The creation of these thriving city centre neighbourhoods has created an influx of highly educated young people wanting to work, live and socialise in the city centre. This year’s Economic Intelligence Unit’s Annual Global Liveability Report Index listed Manchester as the most liveable city in the UK. Not only that, but it’s also got the fastest-growing economy in the UK, according to the 2019 annual State of the City Report. Clearly, Manchester is flourishing – and there’s never been a better time than now to invest in a city that’s on the up. Beech Holdings, owned by one of Manchester’s biggest developers Stephen Beech, has been involved with the regeneration of Manchester city centre for the last 20 years. Beech Holdings’ forte is creating premium developments and neighbourhoods for international and national professionals and students. With Beech Holdings about to embark on a number of key developments in Manchester city centre, Simply Abu Dhabi caught up with Stephen Beech to talk about the growth of Manchester and what the future holds for Beech Holdings. QWhat’s so great about Manchester? Manchester is an incredible place and its history shouts innovation, hard work and resilience. From introducing the industrial revolution to the world in the 19th century, all the way to producing some of the planet’s most prolific brains, sportsmen and artists, this city and its people keep on surprising me. Manchester has shifted from being a heavily industrialised city to an internationally renowned destination for travel, business and pleasure. The term “Manc-hattan” is mentioned quite a lot and when you see the architecture and what Manchester has to offer in terms of luxury, it’s not that far off the mark. Manchester is also home to the second- largest financial district in the UK, shifting business owners away from a London-centric mentality when it comes to international business. I am fortunate enough to have been born and bred in Manchester and seen its extraordinary evolution, especially over the last 10 years, with more and more wealth and opportunities for growth, developing over time. Trust me, it doesn’t look like it might slow down anytime soon! Q How has Manchester changed in the last 20 years? One of the biggest positive changes Manchester has benefitted from over the past 20 years certainly has to do with residential and office space developing all over the place! From the 1990s, Manchester developed a great appetite for creating wealth, by using private developers who transformed square footage into capital appreciation. The transformation of office space in the city began around 1997, with the Spinningfields development subsequently providing grade-A office space for the central business district. Not only has Spinningfields attracted world- renowned business such as PWc and KPMG, it’s also Manchester’s destination for luxury shopping and dining, with luxury brands Giorgio Armani, Mulberry and The Ivy being located in the area. The way development has been working through the years has also hugely contributed to retaining labour, as opposed to seeing workers move to London after graduation. 57% of students who moved away from Manchester for university come back after graduation, and a further 51% of graduates stay in Manchester after graduation. With more highly ManchesterMade: AQ&AwithStephenBeechofBeechHoldings