A cityscape of Manchester at night.

Moving to Manchester

Just want the PDF. Get the PDF.

Nine months on from my first look at the economic impact of the BBC moving to Manchester.

In 2011, 10% of the BBC moved from London to Manchester. It's had a huge effect on Manchester and little on London. The number of businesses and total employment in the TV, film, and radio industry in Manchester has outgrown any other major city. Turnover and productivity has doubled. This is a huge success.

And yet no one has written about it. I've been at conferences on industrial strategy and economic geography where highly-paid researchers have called the move a failure or declared it too early to judge.

I think we must do better at evaluating interventions in our economy. I've written about it, and suggested improvements. This is my attempt at sharing an improvement.

So here's a six-page PDF called Moving to Manchester that looks like a scientific paper. And here's an Excel spreadsheet of the analysis. The raw data is with Nesta in their report "The Geography of Creativity in the UK" if you want to check what I've done.


I'm sharing my work because I'm not sure what do with it now. It's probably not academic research, because I'm not an academic. It's not a report, because no-one paid me to do it. But it's still important and should inform the current UK debate on industrial strategy. I will keep thinking about how we make sure that more important things like this can happen in the future.

But for now have a read, let me know what you think, and let me know below if you have any suggestions.I am extremely grateful to Diane Coyle and Max Nathan for the assistance they've already provided, and to Nesta for sharing their data without which I couldn't have done this work.

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