New materials in Greater Manchester

Invest in new materials

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Shape industries with smart materials

The transport sector is leading the way in smart materials. Investment opportunities are set to be worth 32.3 billion GBP over the next 4 years. The global market is projected to expand to 138 billion GBP by 2021.

In the video, hear Seb Leaper talk about how Greater Manchester offers everything for businesses looking to invest.

View video transcript

In the first industrial revolution Manchester was famous for textiles and iron.

Now it’s changing the world with entirely new materials. Light alloys, coatings and technical textiles of incredible ingenuity.

And amazing 2D materials like the Nobel Prize winning Graphene. First isolated right here in Manchester.

Hardly surprising, because these new materials are transforming industries that are also centred in the north west.

It’s home to over 300 automotive firms and Europe’s biggest aerospace cluster. There’s a talent pool of 100,000 workers in high productivity manufacturing and 14,000 students in advanced materials disciplines. Which makes Manchester the location for a company like yours to expand.

Because maybe the next breakthrough is just around the corner.

The investment opportunity

  1. Diverse materials

    The lightweight structures industry includes light alloys, graphene, 2D materials, technical textiles, materials for demanding environments and coatings.

  2. Applications across industries

    The materials have huge potential in sectors such as transport. This includes aerospace (worth £18.6 billion by 2022), automotive (worth £13.1 billion by 2022) and rail (worth £591 million by 2021).

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Greater Manchester - ideal for new materials

Greater Manchester is a skills, innovation and transport industry hub. It is the perfect location for investment.

  • Established infrastructure
    • Home to more than 300 automotive supply chain firms.
    • Centre of Europe’s largest aerospace cluster.
    • Discovery place of graphene and home to the National Graphene Institute. The institute partners with more than 60 companies to develop and market graphene technology.
  • Well connected
    • Central UK location with access to home and continental markets by road, rail and air.
    • Access to state-of-the-art High Value Manufacturing Catapult Centres.
    • 200 million GBP in funding to help businesses turn ideas into commercial ventures.
  • Talent, skills and research
    • 14,000 students studying advanced materials disciplines.
    • Over 100,000 people working in high productivity manufacturing.
    • Close to internationally recognised research centres including the Aerospace Research Institute, the Materials and Physics Research Centre and the National Composites Certification and Evaluation Facility.
Map of Northern England with Manchester and its main transport links

This opportunity is:

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    Cost competitive

    Costs of labour, industrial property and utilities are highly competitive in the UK.

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    Supported by government

    The UK’s visa system is investor friendly and the Department for International trade offers advice on skills, finance and more.

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    Supported locally

    Business networks and access to funding and academic institutions can help you get established and growing.

Who’s already here

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Case studies



The German global technology conglomerate Freudenberg is a leading player in the global innovative textiles industry.

The company took advantage of Greater Manchester’s unique ecosystem and set up manufacturing and operations in Rochdale.

Luxfer MEL Technologies

Luxfer MEL Technologies

Luxfer MEL Technologies specialises in the design and manufacture of high-performance magnesium alloys for the automotive and aerospace industries.

It has worked with the University of Manchester to develop low-flammable applications for magnesium, revolutionising materials used to meet weight reduction targets.

Precision Technologies Group

Precision Technologies Group

Chinese-owned Precision Technologies Group manufactures precision helical components for demanding environments.

It partnered with Huddersfield University and the University of Manchester to open a 20 million GBP European innovation centre in Rochdale in 2010.