Marketing Manchester activity update: May 2019

With just a few weeks to go until we proudly reveal The Manchester Garden to the world at RHS Chelsea Flower Show (21-25 May) all hands are on deck in preparation.

This is an ambitious project that will allow us to promote Greater Manchester to an entirely new audience and demographic ahead of the phase one completion of RHS Bridgewater in Salford next summer. It will also be a fantastic platform to start a vital conversation about green spaces and Greater Manchester’s green infrastructure strategy with a captive and extremely engaged set of people and stakeholders.

But our time at RHS Chelsea is not going to just be about the people we meet and engage with on site at the event. As many of you will know the Show creates over 14 hours of prime-time television, two hours per evening throughout the week, and we aim to make the most of the opportunity to get Greater Manchester’s message out to the millions of viewers.

Our comms team have been working closely with the BBC ahead of the Show to make a short film about Greater Manchester that will be used to introduce the Manchester Garden during the live broadcast, and we are very excited to see how it turns out – we certainly had beautiful weather for the two days of filming and that in itself will make a huge difference to general perceptions.

Of course, The Manchester Garden has come together thanks to the support of some fantastic partners. Those of you who know and support MIPIM will understand just how valuable Manchester’s reliance on partnership is – it is absolutely integral to our success.

It’s no secret that our first year at MIPIM in 1998 was a test and learn exercise and in many ways for our inaugural outing at RHS Chelsea will we need to adopt a similar approach. However, 20 years on from that first year at MIPIM, we are undoubtably a more confident city-region and we will not shy away from the opportunity.

We have a wonderful garden coming together thanks especially to Exterior Architecture, our award-winning landscape architects and Liam Hopkins from Lazerian, who is creating the focal sculpture piece. Together we are confident in the narrative and story that we want to tell.


News in brief


Quarter 1 2019 hotel occupancy levels

January to March, typically the quietest quarter of the year, showed 2019 occupancy and revenue levels broadly in-line with 2018 levels.

2020 is due to bring an additional 2,890 rooms to the marketplace with 2021 due to bring a further 2,440 rooms into the marketplace.  These additional 2,890 rooms for 2020 equate to the same number which opened over the three-year period of 2017-2019 (2,876 rooms). Considering this ongoing increase in supply, 2019 occupancy levels will need a significant increase over the remaining (traditionally busier) three quarters of the year to be best placed for the further supply pipeline.

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Parliamentary Cricket World Cup reception

With cricket mania set to sweep over the region this summer – the ICC Cricket World Cup hosting six fixtures at Emirates Old Trafford between 30 May and 14 July, followed by the fourth test match in the Ashes series in September – members of the Marketing Manchester team were delighted to attend a reception at the Palace of Westminster to celebrate these events and hear about an ambitious new strategy to grow and diversify the game. The activity builds on Marketing Manchester’s investment in cricket as the Lancashire Cricket’s Official Destination Partner, as reported last month.

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Manchester Convention Bureau at MeetGB plus bid update

Manchester Convention Bureau attended MeetGB with Manchester Central in April. Held over two days in Windsor, Nick Shepherd from the team had one-to-one meetings with 38 conference, meeting and incentive buyers from the US and Europe. Follow up is currently being undertaken prior to the bureau attending a similar event in May, IMEX Frankfurt, which is one of the largest European conference trade shows.

In April the bureau submitted nine bids: seven international and two for national conferences largely within the life science sector. As a result of previous bids, two were converted in April: one international and one national, with an estimated combined economic impact of £1.1 million from 600 delegates.

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Mayor Andy Burnham welcomes fast-growth Indian tech SMEs to Manchester

Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, welcomed senior leaders from four of India’s most innovative tech companies to Manchester last month, encouraging them to set up business operations in the city. The visit was organised by MIDAS – Greater Manchester’s inward investment agency – to bring the four winners of Deloitte India’s Technology Fast 50 (DF50) competition, which recognises the country’s fastest growing and most dynamic tech firms, to the city region.

MIDAS sponsored the 2018 competition for the third year running, offering each of the winners a Manchester ‘establishment package’. The two-day visit formed part of the prize package, which also included complimentary flights to Manchester, a three-night stay at the Principal hotel and an expert introduction to the city region’s technology sector.

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Greater Manchester celebrates three major inward investment wins in April

European manufacturing technology and automation platform, Fractory, has announced Manchester for its first international office. Fractory’s platform is primarily used by metal sheet manufacturers, enabling them to upload jobs before the software algorithm chooses partner suppliers to suit the customer’s needs according to their availability, location, capabilities and materials.

Slalom, a Seattle-headquartered consulting firm focused on strategy, technology and business transformation, has chosen Manchester as the location for its second UK office. The firm helps clients address modern-day challenges associated with technology, data and people, working with solution providers including Amazon Web Services, Google, Salesforce and Tableau to tackle ambitious projects and build new capabilities.

And fintech disruptor Fingopay has chosen Manchester for the global launch of its vein payments tech which is set to make the city the capital of biometric payments and identity. From this Summer, merchants across the city will be the first in the world to let customers pay with just a scan of their finger, with the company already in advanced discussions with several leisure and hospitality venues across the city’s Spinningfields, Ancoats and King Street districts.

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Documentary to highlight city’s contemporary music offer

Marketing Manchester is producing a Manchester Music Documentary and companion podcast series that will help to highlight the rich and varied contemporary music offer in the city.

Featuring voices from the past, present and future of Manchester music, the project is aimed at encouraging day visitors and international tourists to come and discover Manchester music experiences for themselves. It will also promote Manchester as a Gateway in the north to the music cities of Liverpool and Leeds.

The documentary and podcast series are being co-funded by the Discover England Music Tourism Scoping Fund and the Manchester Content Curator at Marketing Manchester.

It will provide a taste of venues and events large and small, and ranging from classical, folk and neo soul to festival performances by major international artists.

Timed to coincide with the 30th anniversary of Madchester, the project will include a hint of nostalgia but is mainly about celebrating what we have today, and how Manchester continues to help shape what happens next around the world. It is one of several initiatives in the city designed to capitalise on interest in Manchester music.

Marketing Manchester would like to hear from people interested in participating in and supporting the documentary and podcast series.

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Peterloo film highlighting landmarks for visitors

A star of Mike Leigh’s epic historic film drama, Peterloo, is to present a tourism film highlighting the locations that visitors can immerse themselves in the story of the landmark event in Manchester’s history.

Actor Neil Bell, who played radical political reformer Samuel Bamford in the 2018 cinema release, will help to provide a contemporary context for the events that took place in St Peter’s Fields, Manchester 200 years ago.

Produced by Marketing Manchester in partnership with Manchester Histories Festival, the Peterloo Visitor Film will be used on the and websites, across social media platforms, and made available to third party media.

Eighteen people were killed, and hundreds injured when members of the Manchester and Salford Yeomanry charged a peaceful meeting of people calling for political reform on 16 August 1819. Many events are being hosted across Manchester to mark the bicentenary of what became known as The Peterloo Massacre.

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Recent press coverage wins

Marketing Manchester’s press team carry out a year-round programme of press visits and media engagement to win national and international coverage for Greater Manchester. Below are a few recent highlights that you may like to read and share:

A Design Lover’s Guide to Manchester – Architectural Digest (USA)

Manchester – much more than football – Fyens Stiftidende (Denmark)

City Breaks UK: The 10 Best for 2019 – Conde Nast Traveller UK (see #3)

The Best Vegan Restaurants in Manchester – Conde Nast Traveller UK

England is not just London – NavGujarat Samay (Gujarati language, India)

The world city of Manchester – NavGujarat Samay (Gujarati language, India)

Flavour and fun in Manchester – NavGujarat Samay (Gujarati language, India)

What to see in Manchester: music, football and art – Touring Club (Italy)

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What’s new in Greater Manchester: May 2019

Distributed to consumer travel and leisure media contacts, Marketing Manchester’s monthly What’s New update is an important piece of media relations work to keep journalists and influencers from around the world up to date on the latest developments, openings and trends across the city-region. To view this month’s newsletter, click here.

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