Manchester, United Kingdom

Built on cotton and silk weaving, with transport links developed on the water ways and later rail, Manchester was the work place of innovators such as Arkwright, who patenting the spinning and carding machine, and was actively involved in improving the textile industry. However the early 1900’s brought a decline in the traditional industry of cotton, as well as engineering, with competition from Leeds and the Midlands. In the early 1900’s Rolls Royce started production of their cars in the City. More recent history is notable for the growth of “Chinatown” since the 1970’s; sadly an IRA bomb in 1996 caused damage to life and property in 1996, but this gave rise the Trafford Shopping Centre a large indoor shopping centre, the second largest in the UK, attracting more than 35 million visitors a year. Today Manchester is placed situated in the second most populated urban area in the UK; it has benefited considerably from recent improvements and developments is Salford Quays, which has become a major centre for the BBC, and the Trafford Shopping Centre which brings many visitors from around the area to the city. Manchester continues to have an important role in the arts, with a top orchestra, the Lowry art exhibition, ballet and opera. Traffic connections to Manchester are excellent, both nationally and internationally. As a key centre of the South/North rail link to Scotland it is in reach of all the UK by rail. Manchester Airport is the second largest after London; it has links both within and outside the UK; it has recently been named best UK airport. Work is currently underway on new traffic routes across Manchester, currently difficult to travel. As the best airport for the area covered by the M62 Corridor, it is the first choice for flights outside Europe. Manchester’s mixed ethnic population and excellent transport links, place it as a good location for companies moving out of London. With an already excellent industrial infrastructure it should continue to be an important centre not just in the UK, but also in Europe.