Listen to this article here
The British Business Bank has found Greater Manchester is emerging as one of the leading innovation led clusters in its third annual Nations and Regions Tracker of business investment.
The Tracker found the North West experienced a drop in equity deal quantity and investment value in 2022, in-line with findings from across the UK; however, signs of recovery were starting to be seen in the first half of 2023 as the rate of decline in deal quantity and investment value eased.
In the North West, as across the country, academic spinouts from research-led universities were identified as making a large contribution to equity activity. The British Business Bank found that Greater Manchester was the second most active innovation-led cluster in the UK outside of the ‘Golden Triangle’ of Oxford, Cambridge and London. Of the North West’s 162 equity deals (worth £0.69 billion in 2022), 13 deals worth £95 million involved spinouts.
In terms of deal quantity, medical technology dominates the Greater Manchester’s spinout ecosystem, while life sciences takes the lead when it comes to deal value. The North West region is also home to a further three innovation-led clusters located in Liverpool & Chester, Lancashire and Cheshire East.
Dr Sophie Dale Black, Director, North of England, UK Network at the British Business Bank, said:
“While on initial glance it appears that the North West is seeing a decline in the number of small businesses utilising external finance, we are seeing promising signs of recovery in early 2023. Unsurprisingly, our world-class universities continue to play a crucial role in this, supporting emerging innovation-led clusters across the UK.”
The British Business Bank is the UK government’s economic development bank, with a mission to drive growth, prosperity and support the transition to a net zero economy by improving access to finance for smaller businesses.