We attended Deloitte’s Manchester Crane Survey on 4 February 2020 at Manchester Hall with guest speakers Sir Richard Leese (Leader of Manchester City Council) and Chris Oglesby (CEO of Bruntwood).

Despite the recent geopolitical uncertainty, Manchester saw the highest number of residential completions since 2006.  The Crane Survey further revealed the following results.


Residential development is still the biggest driver of schemes in Manchester and Salford, including West Tower at Deansgate Square, Trinity Blackfriars and the first phase of Manchester Life.

Sir Richard Leese stated, “New residential schemes have helped to kick-start regeneration in many key areas of the city.  Emerging neighbourhoods such as New Islington and Ancoats, are now some of the most desirable locations in Manchester”.


During 2019, 427,410 sq ft of new office space was completed including Dantzic in NOMA, Heron House, No.8 First Street and ABC on Quay Street.  There are 14 new schemes, with the focus in the city core, but there is also activity in St. Johns, Salford and NOMA.

There is a demand for Grade A office space from a variety of sectors, including blue chip companies, which is apparent from the 2m sq ft office space that is under construction.  It is also estimated that the new developments will deliver 15,500 new jobs, generate an additional £507m gross value to the economy and add £309m in wages each year.

Retail, leisure and hotels

There continues to be growth in Manchester’s retail and leisure ventures.  Currently there is over 400,000 sq ft of leisure and retail floorspace under construction, which is almost always delivered as convenience retail, bars or restaurants.

In 2019, there were construction of 2,446 hotel rooms, which is an increase of 25% year on year, showing a remarkable growth. 

Student accommodation

The first student residential development was built in the area since 2017 was delivered in 2019 at Circle Square from Vita Student adding 384 beds.

Further developments are under construction at Artisan Heights (Unite) and River Street (Downing), which will add another 1,410 beds to the city centre.

The student population will support the 1.2m sq ft construction of research and educational floorspace including Citylabs and the School of Digital Arts.

The full Deloitte report is available here

Deloitte Crane Survey 2020