<< back to News

Can Manchester Sustain its Top Fashion City Title?


The Financial Times noted
that newly appointed Prime Minister Theresa May’s move to seek a national industrial strategy could be an indication that she is reluctant to endorse former chancellor George Osborne’s Northern Powerhouse plan. She is believed to prefer turning the concept into a nationwide agenda to boost productivity outside of the South East.

But what will this mean for some of Manchester’s strongest industries like fashion? Will its growth continue as it has done, or will it suffer as a result of this shift in focus?

In response to the recent announcement from Downing Street, the mayors of Liverpool and Manchester have asked the Prime Minister for an urgent meeting, to discuss what this means for the future.The North, and particularly cities like Manchester, has experienced significant growth over the past few years. A report commissioned by Oxford Economics, entitled ‘Beyond the City’, showed that Manchester had seen a sharp upturn in job creation between 2010 to June 2015. It was also predicted that Manchester would outperform some of the world’s top cities, including Berlin, Paris and Tokyo, for jobs growth over the next five years.

However, that was before May announced a deviation away from George Osborne’s original Northern Powerhouse plans.

In a new and unique report, digital recruitment specialist Forward Role has explored Manchester’s growing influence in the UK’s fashion industry.

Speaking to experts from a number of independent brands, and Manchester-based online retailer Boohoo.com, the report delves into the city’s historic roots in fashion and whether it could ever rival London as the fashion capital of the UK.Steve Thompson, Managing Director of Forward Role (pictured right), commented:

“Over the past few years, Manchester has proven that it’s a vibrant city, able to stand on its own two feet and thrive. Its tremendous growth in the fashion industry proves this. Our report explores what has prompted a city that was once known as ‘Cottonopolis’ to transform into a modern hub for fashion driven by digital, where designers seeking jobs or a place to start their own brand now flock to.

“Manchester has so much going for it; a good economy, a rich history, fantastic job prospects, and we believe great things lie ahead for the city. People and businesses with years of heritage in the sector are looking at the likes of Boohoo.com and their £600m flotation and thinking, if they can do it, why can’t we? It’s extremely exciting to be part of!”

Katie Curran from Boohoo.com maintained that they will continue to call Manchester home:

“Boohoo.com was originally born out of a successful wholesale business called Pinstripe, which was based where our HQ is now located in the heart of the Northern Quarter. This has remained our home ever since and we are proud to be such a big employer in the area. In more recent years we acquired our warehouse in Burnley, which in August 2015, saw investment and extension that delivered 270,000 additional square feet, delivering a vast amount of new job opportunities.

“Our business is global so the reality is we could be based anywhere, but Manchester and Burnley are our home and we intend to stay.”

Whatever the outcome regarding the original Northern Powerhouse plans fashion businesses in Manchester are adamant that the city is to remain a top choice for those, studying and working in the fashion sector and that industry professionals should not feel the pressure to move south to the capital.

Related articles:

London Rules The World

A New Fashion Capital Has Been Named

Grad Season 2016: Manchester Metropolitan University

<< back to News