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Approaching the end of a year, as we are now, MIDAS would have typically visited most corners of the world and hosted hundreds of international companies in Greater Manchester to identify, progress and close investment projects – but the book of 2020 tells quite a different story.

Despite the challenges of the last nine months, I am incredibly heartened by the collaborative Mancunian spirit that has been displayed across our city region in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. As Einstein famously said, “in the midst of every crisis, lies great opportunity”, which has certainly rung true in Greater Manchester, where there are many positive stories to share as we reflect on the year we will never forget...

One example, and a key achievement of the year, is how Greater Manchester organisations teamed up to successfully source much needed PPE for use across the city region – a project MIDAS is incredibly proud to have been involved with.

Another fantastic example is how Greater Manchester, the city of firsts – from the splitting of the atom to the birthplace of the industrial revolution, was able to leverage its history of innovation to bring about rapid change in the face of a crisis; accelerating the GM Integrated Care Record for 2.8 million patients. The project saw rapid progression in a matter of weeks as a result of the city’s digital strengths and collaborative effort across relevant organisations. Now, health and care organisations across the city region have immediate and secure access to real-time patient information, which is not only invaluable in relation to COVID-19 diagnosis but will support clinical trials and health analytics across the region.

As we approach a new year with positive news of vaccines, we must retain the collaborative spirit of the last nine months to overcome challenges and accelerate innovation; which I believe will be the driving force of Greater Manchester’s recovery.

On the journey to recovery, MIDAS will naturally assume responsibility for ensuring Greater Manchester retains its gravitas as a globally recognised investment location. Riding the wave of achieving our best results in MIDAS’ 22-year history in the year previous, like many others we had big plans for 2020. Many of these plans have been paused or taken a different shape but I’m delighted to share that since the summer, we have returned full attention to proactive economic development – engaging with potential investors and connecting, albeit virtually, with hundreds of businesses across the world – and we’re starting to see the fruits of our labour.

In that vein, I look forward to sharing some positive stories early in the new year but for now, to round off the year, we wanted to share some of the prevailing successes of 2020.     

Wishing you a very merry Christmas and a happy New Year. Here’s to 2021!

Tim Newns
Chief Executive Officer

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