The UK's cities face a stark challenge. Reinventing themselves to face increased global competition, seizing the opportunities of new industries and tackling persistent social issues would be a tough enough agenda at the best of times. But today, they must do this in the teeth of a severe recession that has accelerated the decline of established busineses and threatened the rise of new ones.
Manchester offers an important example of how UK cities can harness innovation to thrive in the economy of the 21st century: in the last decade, it has grown in size and increased in prosperity. But as this report shows, its future prosperity depends on its ability to continue to innovate. What is more, this innovation will need to take new forms, including strengthening local networks, linking the creative sector to the wider economy, and tackling social challenges.
NESTA has worked intensively in Manchester in recent years, and is proud to have supported many of the initiatives dedicated to keeping Manchester at the forefront of innovation, such as the Manchester Commission for the New Economy and the Manchester Independent Economic Review. This report draws on some of the insights gained from this work, and the lessons of NESTA's work elsewhere in the UK, to offer a vision of what an innovative future for Manchester might look like.