A Golden Era for Manchester and China

A new direct flight from Manchester to Beijing will connect the northern powerhouse with mainland China.

Prime Minister David Cameron and the Chinese President Xi Jingling announced that the service would help create a new home for businesses from the Far East.

Mr Xi, speaking to delegates at the airport, said the ‘China Cluster’ - and the new Beijing service - would become a new ‘engine driving growth in Manchester and the north of England’.

Hainan Airlines will begin operating the new route from Manchester International from June 2016 with four journeys per week.

Charlie Cornish, CEO of Manchester Airports Group, said: “Today’s announcements are clear evidence of the vital economic role that Manchester Airport plays both nationally and regionally. (1)

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Chinese investors are turning their attention from the Capital to the North of England in a bid to build a strong and lucrative partnership with Manchester.

The North of England is becoming increasingly popular with overseas property investors, as the price of property in London is soaring and a rise in UK Stamp Duty could mean the cost of investing in the UK could be higher than ever.

According to latest data from Rightmove, the average cost of a terraced property in Manchester is £136,255. You would struggle to get more than a 1 bedroom apartment for this amount of money in London. (Last year most property sales in London involved flats which sold for on average £466,589.) (2) (3) Manchester allows investors to benefit from more affordable and spacious properties, high rental demand and high rental yields, so it’s no wonder China has it’s sights firmly focused on the North. (4)

The new direct flight route between Manchester International and Beijing will help to encourage more international businesses to base their headquarters in Manchester over London as they will be able to easily travel to long haul destinations, have more office space for their money and be able to employ locals for a lower salary than in the capital. In fact, the new route is set to bring in £250m to the UK over the next ten years, with two-thirds benefiting the north alone. In addition, the nonstop service will help save a massive £5m every year for business passengers both in the UK and based in China. (5)

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Chinese visitors are already some of the region’s highest spenders, spending on average £724 per transaction. Chinese spend also made up over half of the total international spend in Manchester last year and recent figures suggest that this figure will double to £1 billion by 2020. (5) In terms of tourism, in the first nine months of 2015, 214,000 Chinese tourists visited the UK, 37 per cent higher than in 2014.(6)

To honour the new partnership, Manchester took the opportunity this year to celebrate Chinese New Year to it’s fullest, with a Chinese food and drink festival based in St. Ann’s Square and New Cathedral St. Manchester FC has also focused its attention on Asia by being the first Premier League club to host tours of their stadium in Mandarin. Danny Wilson, Director of Sales, Service and Operations at the club said, “The launch of our stadium and club tour in Mandarin, along with our sponsorship of the Manchester’s Chinese New Year celebrations, highlights Manchester City Football Club’s commitment, not just to our fans in China, but to the vibrant mix of cultures found across the city. As Manchester is one of the best places in Europe to celebrate Chinese New Year and home to the second largest Chinatown in the UK, we wanted to make our award-winning stadium and club tour more accessible to everyone who lives in or visits the city. We’re introducing this offering as a long-term commitment from the club, and hope local and visiting fans come to enjoy the all-new experience at the Etihad Stadium.” (7)

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For those investing from Hong Kong, you’ll be happy to hear that Hong Kong is one of the few places where you can invest in the UK property market and be exempt from paying tax on your investment twice. To find out more read our article about Double Taxation Laws in the UK.

We currently have a number of investment opportunities in Greater Manchester. For our most recent development opportunities please click here.

For more information about investing in Manchester, check out our creative infographic.

"If you want one year of prosperity, grow grain. If you want ten years of prosperity, grow trees. If you want a thousand years of prosperity, grow relationships between people and people," said Cameron, quoting a popular Chinese saying to describe the relations between China and Britain. (5) The Heaton Group are building a strong presence in Hong Kong and will continue to invest time and money into helping UK and overseas investors benefit from our property development investment opportunities in the North of England. For more information please don’t hesitate to contact me via email john@heatongroup.co.uk or call 01942 251949


1. Manchester Evening News - Manchester Beijing Flight Service 

2. Rightmove - Manchester

3. Rightmove - London

4. The Heaton Group - Greater Manchester Infographic

5. Manchester Evening News - Chinese celebrations herald new and exciting partnership

6. The Argus - Are we doing enough to welcome the Chinese?

7. Manchester Evening News - Chinese New Year food and drink

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