Alan Turing, Coronation Street and the computer - the best things to ever come out of Manchester, according to locals

  • Alan Turing, Coronation Street and the computer are the best things ever to come out of Manchester, according to locals
  • Santander UK research highlights importance of international trade to North West companies – 50% currently trade internationally and 87% of these say it is critical to business
  • North West companies reveal what it takes to make it overseas, including top tips for international success
  • Cheshire-based Delamere Dairy shares its experience of operating its business globally

Alan Turing, Coronation Street and the computer have topped the list of the best things ever to come out of Manchester, according to local residents.

In new research by Santander UK1, residents local to Manchester have named the top ten things to come out of the city as: 
1.    Alan Turing 
2.    Coronation Street 
3.    The computer 
4.    Rolls-Royce
5.    Vimto 
6.    Manchester United football club
7.    Oasis 
8.    Factory Records 
9.    Manchester City football club
10.  Take That 

Many of these things have put Manchester on the global map, being well known, well used and much-loved in countries spanning the globe. Just as people from Manchester are proud of their city’s greatest exports, Brits throughout the UK are pleased with what the nation has given the world. Santander UK’s research2 has found that 82% of Brits think some of the best things in the world have originated in Britain.

As well as being a source of pride, British exports play a significant role in the day-to-day success of UK companies. Santander UK’s research3 shows that many businesses in Manchester and the wider North West region see international trade as vital. In the North West, 50% of companies surveyed currently trade internationally, and 87% of these said it was critical to their business. The most-cited countries they trade in are France (46%), Germany (43%) and the USA (37%). But international success doesn’t happen by chance. 

John Carroll, Head of International and Transactional Banking, Santander UK said: “A lot of research, hard work, perseverance, and adaptation go into transforming home-grown British goods and services into exports that resonate with consumers abroad and take off internationally. It also pays to have the right contacts in place - be they in-country retailers or distributors - to make sure UK-produced products and services have visibility overseas and get into the hands of buyers quickly and efficiently.”

The most common adaptations and measures North West businesses have undertaken to ensure their success overseas are:
•    Introduced new products or services (34%).
•    Changed the pricing structure (31%). 
•    Offered more products or services (31%).
•    Hired local staff (29%).

It isn’t all plain sailing, as local businesses have worked hard to overcome the common challenges of shipping and transport costs (39%), shipping and transport rules and regulations (39%), and language barriers (31%).

Of the North West companies that don’t currently trade overseas, the reasons behind this are the beliefs that their product or service is unsuitable for an overseas market (28%), their business is too small (26%), and they don’t have sufficient local market knowledge outside the UK (21%). Despite this, 51% of these businesses aspire to take their products and services overseas in future. However, only 16% have a plan in place to make this happen. They say less red tape (26%), grants (21%) and market intelligence on their sector in various countries (19%) would encourage them to take their business international.

A significant number of North West companies are positive about trading abroad, with 65% agreeing ‘the future is bright for British business operating internationally’. Contributing to this optimism are their beliefs that consumers are supporting British businesses more (48%), Brexit has provided more opportunities (45%) and there is now freedom from EU regulation (38%).

Santander UK’s research has also revealed North West business owners’ and decision makers’ top tips for international trade success:
•    Make sure there is a market for your product or service before you start (36%).
•    Ensure your UK business is doing well first (34%).
•    Invest in obtaining market intelligence on your sector in the country you want to trade in (29%).
•    Don’t take too big a risk to start with (23%).
•    Invest in advertising, marketing, social media to suit the local market (21%).

Cheshire-based business Delamere Dairy started out in 1985 with just three goats and a small supply of fresh milk and cheese which it sold locally. Now the Santander UK client is a multi-million pound business selling a range of dairy and dairy-alternative products all over the world. 

Delamere Dairy Managing Director Ed Salt said: “We’ve been exporting for over 20 years and though initially our approach was reactive, it became clear that a proactive approach enabled us to de-risk the business model, redefine our market and reduce our reliance on traditional sectors. Our first real export investment was in China in 2012, when we opened an office in Hong Kong. This took time, commitment and investment but from this platform we developed an export department within our business, proactively focusing on key strategic markets, rather than a scatter gun approach responding to inward enquiries. One of the most significant moments was when we realised that just because something was right for the UK market doesn’t mean it’s right for an overseas market. It sounds obvious but it’s much easier to sell something someone wants than something they don’t. My advice to UK companies thinking of going international is that though there are short term challenges and costs, it is a worthwhile strategic commitment to, and investment in, the long-term security of your business and gives you the ability to pivot in a global world.”

John Carroll, Head of International and Transactional Banking, Santander UK added: “It’s clear from the research that international trade can play a crucial role in helping North West businesses to emerge from the pandemic and get back to growth and with the right support and partners, these internationally trading businesses can thrive.

“Later this year, we will be launching a new online platform, where we will share our years of experience and knowledge in one place to help North West businesses with tailored support to find their way when expanding overseas. We’re here to help these businesses with support that goes beyond banking as they navigate the challenges.”

Santander’s international team has dedicated market specialists that have access to extensive local networks and knowledge around the world, and a long track record of helping businesses implement their international growth strategies. This support ranges from working with them to identify new markets, helping them with shipping and logistics options and organising virtual trade missions to introducing businesses to trusted local partners, potential new customers and vital networks in key destinations. For more information on the international support available, visit:

- Ends -

The information contained in our press releases is intended solely for journalists and should not be used by consumers to make financial decisions.

For more information about the international support Santander UK provides British businesses please visit:
For Santander UK’s top tips for UK businesses looking to expand internationally, please visit:
For more information about Delamere Dairy, please visit:

Notes to Editors
1) Research is drawn from a survey conducted by OnePoll of 100 people whose closest city is Manchester on 14-21 January 2022.
2) Research is drawn from a survey conducted by OnePoll of 2,000 UK adults, nationally representative, on 14-20 January 2022.
3) Research is drawn from a survey conducted by OnePoll of 1,000 UK business owners and decision makers on 14-25 January 2022.

Santander UK is a financial services provider in the UK that offers a wide range of personal and commercial financial products and services. At 31 December 2021, the bank had around 19,200 employees and serves around 14 million active customers, via a nationwide branch network, telephone, mobile and online banking. Santander UK is subject to the full supervision of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) in the UK. Santander UK plc customers’ eligible deposits are protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) in the UK.
Banco Santander (SAN SM, STD US, BNC LN) is a leading retail and commercial bank, founded in 1857 and headquartered in Spain. It has a meaningful presence in 10 core markets in the Europe, North America and South America regions, and is one of the largest banks in the world by market capitalization. Its purpose is to help people and businesses prosper in a simple, personal and fair way. Santander is building a more responsible bank and has made a number of commitments to support this objective, including raising over €120 billion in green financing between 2019 and 2025, as well as financially empowering more than 10 million people over the same period. At the end of 2021, Banco Santander had €1.15 trillion in total funds, 153 million customers, of which 25.4 million are loyal and 47.4 million are digital, 9,900 branches and 197,000 employees.