Invest Region Leipzig GmbH

Leipzig & Manchester – the Perfect Match

A football-mad city, oozing with culture, powered by major universities that help create a youthful vibe to attract talent from all over the country and is a hotbed of innovation and inward investment in digital tech, health, clean energy and ecommerce.

This is Leipzig. This is Manchester.

When political and business leaders from across the North of England gathered in Manchester in January for the Convention of the North, they were addressed by Carsten Schneider, Minister for Eastern Germany, about shared lessons around economic development. A report launched at the event by the Manchester think tank IPPR North hailed Leipzig as an economic success story and subsequent press articles by Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham pointed to Leipzig as a model for Northern England.

So, whenever Manchester City and RB Leipzig face each other in the Champions League, both sets of travelling supporters realise that the two cities have a lot more in common than sport.

Manchester is famed the world over for its football, but Leipzig is a relative newcomer to the European top table – something which mirrors its economic growth – Leipzig is the fastest growing city in Germany. Marcel Sabitzer who has just joined the red side of Manchester spent seven years at RB Leipzig, largely under the leadership of Ralf Rangnick, another Leipzig-Manchester connection and one of the key architects behind RB’s recent success.

There’s plenty of musical synergy too, with world-leading orchestras like Manchester’s Hallé and the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig. Germany’s music city is the home of Bach, Mendelssohn, Schumann and Wagner; while Manchester gave the world a host of musical innovators from the New Music Manchester composers who came together in the 1950s to the iconic Manchester bands and artists that dominate rock and pop music today.

1989 was a pivotal year in the history of both cities. While Mancunians were flocking to the Hacienda, dancing to the Stone Roses and creating the music and cultural scene known as ‘Madchester’; Leipzigers were also starting to dance to a new beat. After years of communist rule, the fall of the Berlin Wall in November 1989 can be directly traced to the Monday night protests outside St. Nicholas Church in Leipzig.

So, there’s another parallel. Both cities were home of revolutions. Manchester being the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution and Leipzig earning the title ‘City of Heroes’ for its role in the Peaceful Revolution which brought down the Iron Curtain.

Leipzig is Germany’s fastest growing and most youthful city

They are both student cities. Manchester has around 100,000 and Leipzig has more than 40,000. Both have world-class universities and Nobel prize winners aplenty. And a recent addition to Leipzig’s education scene is a familiar name in Northwest England – Lancaster University – which in 2020 became the first public UK university with a campus in Germany. And with 1,200 Brits living in Leipzig, there’s plenty of familiar voices.

Both Leipzig and Manchester are definitely on the up. The last decade has seen both secure huge inward investments and both places are hotbeds of innovation in digital, health, energy and transport. Both have expanding airports that have boosted economic growth and opportunity.

5 Strong Sectors in Leipzig and Manchester:

  • Life Sciences
  • Ecommerce
  • Digital Tech
  • Clean Energy
  • Advanced Manufacturing

Throughout 2023 Invest Region Leipzig is building closer relationships with key businesses and organisations in Manchester and across Northwest England, creating a two-way bridge between two regions that have so much in common. Manchester companies will definitely feel at home in Leipzig.

Whatever happens on the pitch, the growing links will be a win for both cities.

Opportunities for UK companies in Leipzig

Invest Region Leipzig is hosting an event with Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce to inform about trade and investment opportunities in Leipzig for British companies:

Date: 27th April 2023

Time: 10am to 1pm BST

Place: Elliot House, 151 Deansgate, Manchester M3 3WD, United Kingdom

Costs: free (registration required)

Sign up here!