Mission Labs sets target to double its headcount over the next 12 months to over 200 employees.
Why Manchester Might Be the Next Big Tech Hub.
July 26th, 2021
In 2021, Mission Labs will be making the city of Manchester it’s official base. After originating in Rossendale, Lancashire, in 2016, we will be using the 11,000 sq ft of office and meeting space at Arbeta, based near the Etihad Stadium, as our new HQ.
Mission Labs is a business proudly born in the North. We’re delighted to be labelled a Mancunian company, especially as Manchester is quickly becoming one of the tech hubs of the country, if not the world.
But why is settling in the rainy city such a result for those in the tech industry?
The Future is Moving North.
Many industries are heading to Manchester to set up or expand their business. The city has been consistently booming for a decade now and looks set to be an even bigger opportunity for the future. Innovation and investment have characterised the city in spite of lockdown, and even greater economic growth is forecast for the coming years, thanks to several factors.
Remote working during the pandemic has allowed for businesses to recruit from across the country, increasing the talent pool. Employees in London and Bristol have been on-boarded by companies in Manchester; those businesses with the ability to innovate fastest have felt the benefits of these changing work trends. Unsurprisingly, the tech industry, from big tech to start ups, has emerged as one of the most robust industries after the past year. Manchester, considered the tech capital of the UK by Tech nation, and the best place in the country for start-ups, will no doubt continue to flourish in spite of the pandemic, especially for the tech industry.
Political factors are also favouring Manchester. The Northern Powerhouse project continues to progress and put cities like Manchester on a national investment agenda. With the HS2 train project now in development, there is even greater incentive for people to look to Manchester for work and businesses to set up base or ‘north-shore’ their workforce.
There’s been massive investment in new property across the city region, as the BBC documentary ‘Manctopia’ demonstrated. The city has seen a small leap in property prices over the past decade, especially in high demand neighbourhoods like Chorlton and Didsbury. But there are still plenty of flats and houses to go around - one look across the city centre’s complex of cranes and scaffolding suggests this will be the case for years to come. And there will always be up and coming communities with reasonable price tags, far more affordable than London or San Francisco.
The New Industrial City.
Manchester specifically has been a focal point not just for recent development, but for the tech industry.
Manchester has a strong existing tech legacy thanks to the success of MediaCity, where new office spaces in Salford have been housing media and technology businesses, alongside its main tenants BBC and ITV.
A couple of years ago, Manchester had the second most tech jobs in the UK (behind London), with an average salary of over £47,000 and a contribution to the local economy of £2.9 billion. Today, it is considered one of the fastest growing tech cities in Europe.
One of the key reasons for this is its sources of talent available for start-ups and other tech businesses. Multiple universities create a pool of over 90,000 students looking to graduate and get a job, of which over half tend to stay in the city after their degree ends. With more people choosing computing degrees year on year, it’s a matter of time before tech companies start attracting graduate talent in the city.
Several Manchester-based institutions are set up for getting people into computing and coding careers. Places like Northcoders and Manchester Codes offer training to people trying to develop their coding skills and find the right jobs in tech. These places offer alternatives to university for keen web and computing professionals, as well as a bed of talent for tech companies to choose from.
Mission Labs have recruited plenty of amazing individuals from these places. Ethan recently joined the Mission Labs team as a Junior Software Engineer and had this to say about his experience training with Manchester Codes:
“I had a good amount of options when choosing which bootcamp to join - Manchester has a really good selection. I decided to go with Manchester Codes due to the great reviews and that I could do it part time whilst continuing to work.
“Although I wasn't able to visit due to lockdown, their classrooms are right in the heart of Manchester and they do a lot of work with local businesses to try and get opportunities for their students to gain their first roles in tech.”
It’s no surprise that tech is performing strongly in Manchester – 43% of the UK’s digital unicorns are based in the North West, whilst the city itself ranked number 1 in Data City’s list of places for tech teams to work. As Manchester continues to thrive, the tech companies calling it home will help carry the city’s success and see huge returns on their location choice.
Mission Labs Set Up Base Manchester.
The talent and infrastructure benefits of Manchester are enough to boost any business looking to grow. With plans to double our employee headcount over 12 months, setting up base in Manchester was a no-brainer for Mission Labs, as we pursue our ambitious development plans.
The location of our new Arbeta office, with its transport links and quality facilities will appeal to a wider catchment, taking better advantage of the tech talent pool in the Greater Manchester area. As pointed out by Mission Labs co-founder, Damian Hanson: “Arbeta is situated in a very fast-growing area of Manchester, supported by excellent infrastructure and facilities. The new space that we have secured provides us with a brand new, welcoming HQ that is right in the heart of the action.”
Making Manchester home has been the logical next step for a driven tech company like Mission Labs. As more and more in our industry realise the opportunity the city region offers, it seems inevitable that a new global tech hub will be sprouting in the North West in no time.
Want to find out more about our career opportunities? Check out the Mission Labs careers page.
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