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The Council and democracy Future Manchester. An economy built on people, place and prosperity


Growth of the city

We’re a rapidly growing city that 600,000 people call home: Manchester has experienced rapid population growth since 2000; the number of residents has risen from 422,000 to almost 600,000, a figure that is expected to increase to 630,000 in the next six years. 

The resurgent city centre continues to be the main area of growth in both the city and Greater Manchester. Its importance is highlighted in the 2019 Greater Manchester Independent Economic Review: one in five jobs in Greater Manchester is located there, and employment increased by 17.2% (59,000 jobs) between 2014 and 2018, two and a half times the national growth rate of 6.8% and higher than any other UK city, including London. This is a testament to the construction boom delivering high-quality office workspaces, reflecting the development momentum of the past ten years. 

This momentum has delivered a wide range of benefits, and there are numerous examples of the positive impacts that recent developments have had. The next decade and beyond will see sustained growth, with economic forecasts indicating the city centre will benefit from: 

  • A further 40,000 people choosing to live in the city centre, increasing the population to 100,000 by 2026. 
  • An additional 65,000 jobs, increasing the total city centre employment to 315,000 by 2040 
  • Significant new public realm across the city centre, including a 6.5-acre park at Mayfield, an expanded civic space at Albert Square, and two new public spaces at The Factory Manchester, the city’s new multi-purpose arts centre. 

These latest development schemes illustrate Manchester City Council’s continuing commitment to enabling and promoting new sustainable development, and demonstrate the confidence developers and investors have in the city. 

Manchester’s unique approach to partnership and collaborative working will be key to achieving the next phase of growth and regeneration projects. An important element of the economic recovery of Manchester post-COVID-19 will be reinvigorating and sustaining the growth of the construction sector, particularly over the next two years. The direct and indirect benefits of recent developments in the city can be found in this document. 

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