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Through its strong industrial legacy Manchester has emerged as a key UK location for both traditional and advanced manufacturing. The region's established manufacturing operations have moved up the value chain and become knowledge, capital and skills-intensive, leading the way in advanced engineering. Manchester's engineering base feeds into major national and global industry supply chains including those for the aerospace, automotive, chemicals and energy sectors.

The supply chain and operational advantages of being located in the city region were reflected in the recent KPMG Competitive Alternative Locations study, which ranked Manchester as the eighth most cost competitive location for Manufacturing in North America, Asia-Pacific and Europe.

A major element of Manchester's attraction for engineering companies is the ready supply of skills, from operatives to senior engineers. Across Manchester's higher education institutions, over 4,100 students graduate every year in engineering and science-related degrees while there are 44,800 engineering and science students studying at universities located within an hour's drive of Manchester.

Capitalising on the area's reputation as a leading engineering hub has helped Salford attract global companies including BASFHarland Machines Systems UK, PZ CussonsOMEGA and Luxfer.

Support for manufacturing