Smaller cities and towns in north-west could see revival in 2018

 

With the Greater Manchester Metro Mayor Andy Burnham expected to be given more powers in the coming year, we could see a greater focus on non-core areas of the north-west.

In Andy Burnham‘s end of year statement and predictions for the year ahead, he vowed to leave the London-centric culture behind and “let people write the policies that will shape the future of Greater Manchester“.

With a particular focus on improving the state of public transport in the north and around Greater Manchester, Burnham has promised that this year will see major changes to bring the transport system into the present day, getting rid of “clapped out trains, packed roads and unreliable buses”.

The move will undoubtedly have a major knock-on effect on the local area, boosting the desirability of many places which have historically been cut off by poor transport and suffered economically as a result.

Branching out

Caroline Baker, partner in development and planning at Manchester-based commercial real estate agent Cushman & Wakefield, said that Manchester had been a major target for residential development and the build-to-rent market in recent years, and there could start to be a slight shift to other parts of the region as a whole.

She commented: “We predict that 2018 will see a new focus on residential development in smaller cities and other major towns in the north-west.

“Given the expectations of land values in Manchester, more developers will start to look in other areas to find new opportunities.

“The focus will be on centres in accessible locations, within walking distance of intercity stations and the metro network, with excellent connectivity to employment opportunities, green space and a vibrant mix of bars and restaurants and wider leisure offer.”

Preston, which sits to the north-west of Manchester, has been penned as one to watch in the coming years as more investment is injected into the city.

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Smaller cities and towns in north-west could see revival in 2018

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