Manchester's Universities and their Impact on Business in the City

Manchester's Universities and their Impact on Business in the City

Manchester's Universities and their Impact on Business in the City
4th May 2021

Manchester: birth place of the computer, industrial revolution and world’s longest running TV soap – Coronation Street. This vibrant and multicultural city is also home to a staggering 100,000 students enrolled in the region’s universities. Alongside the University of Manchester, which sits amongst the top three largest universities in the UK, Manchester Metropolitan University, University of Salford, University of Bolton and University Academy 92 collectively produce around 36,000 graduates every year.

Bursting with character and excitement, it’s no wonder Manchester attracts a vast number of young people from all over the world. Naturally, this generates a large expenditure across a number of industries, attracting valuable income and investment for the city. The impact on business in Manchester is notable to say the least. Astoundingly, when compared to the region’s biggest sports clubs, Manchester University’s turnover is higher than Manchester United and Manchester City’s turnover combined. Read on to find the ways in which Manchester’s flourishing economy can be accredited to its universities.

Old Trafford, Stretford, Manchester


Aside from the exciting lease of independence and social life, investing in one’s future career prospects is a prominent purpose for attending university. Improved job possibilities often set students on a path to finding jobs they enjoy and find mentally stimulating. This is prevalent in cities containing large or multiple universities as they tend to be hotbeds for new business ventures and entrepreneurship, positively driving up local employment. Boasting the largest student population of any campus-based university in the UK, Manchester University is in fact one of the largest employers in the region. This trend continues to Greater Manchester and the North West where for every 100 jobs inside the university there are an additional 133 jobs created in a variety of industries outside the university. The tremendous growth in jobs and population has been concentrated in Manchester’s City centre and can be clearly attributed to its universities.

Princess Street, Manchester


It’s no secret that universities are themselves some of the biggest businesses in the UK. Year on year they compete for a record amount of revenue, inviting the substantial government student loans. After tuition fees, accommodation is likely to be the main expense.

After all, would the university experience really be complete without sharing a cluttered kitchen with a selection of complete strangers? Extensive student accommodation and housing underpins and boosts the economic infrastructure of Manchester universities and caters to a variety of student budgets and requests. Halls are a core part of student life in Manchester. However, the city’s affordable cost of living makes Manchester an ideal choice for those wanting to live it up in the city while on a budget at university and beyond. This has facilitated the district’s rapid expansion and is the reason why we now class Manchester as one of Europe’s fastest growing cities. Currently, countless construction projects are underway with new developments in motion to meet population demand. With accommodation sorted, this drives up spending in the heart of the city, sustaining and propelling local business in Manchester such as travel services and nightlife venues. These industries are often cultivated specifically for student custom with countless offers and promotions. Printworks is the number one spot in the heart of Manchester, containing 14 bars and restaurants, leisure activities for everyone and one of the largest IMAX screens in Europe.

Printworks is the number one spot in the heart of Manchester, containing 14 bars and restaurants, leisure activities for everyone and one of the largest IMAX screens in Europe

Food and Drink

Research by the National Union of Students (NUS) evidences how students significantly contribute to the UK economy at local, regional and national levels, generating substantial wealth for the economy. Catering and hospitality industries benefit from the major investment the student market provides. Manchester offers an overwhelming range of culinary delights at food markets, restaurants and takeaways which are easily accessible to all university attendees. Catering for every budget and satisfying all tastes and appetites, it’s difficult to resist the inviting array of tantalising food and drink on offer.

Manchester Food and Drink Festival comes once a year but the delicious line-up of street food is well worth the wait

Business in Manchester is centred around a fantastic social scene. To verify this, we can offer our take on the five best beer gardens in ManchesterWhether it’s a cold pint or evening meal, student spending in this area supports and advances the growth of these industries, creating a huge market for these local and national businesses.

Cultural Institutions

The impact of Manchester’s universities’ cultural institutions is not to be overlooked. Owned by the University, Manchester Museum showcases works of archaeology, anthropology and natural history, offering intriguing and interchanging exhibitions. This institution represents the transformation in public engagement as it welcomes an increasingly diverse 500,000 visitors a year. The John Rylands Library, Jodrell Bank Discovery Centre and The Whitworth are other educational establishments that each contribute to spending on staff, equipment, materials and services which generates economic activity, output and jobs.

Stan the T-Rex skeleton, housed at Manchester Museum

Ultimately, offering people from every background the opportunity to transform their life prospects is the main goal of higher education. This being said, the wider impact of these institutions is not only recognised by businesses in Manchester but welcomed with open arms. Manchester universities take their broader social responsibility seriously as well as the important part they play in shaping the local economy. Student involvement without question has played a pivotal role in strengthening local business, affecting employment, infrastructure and city culture in a positive way.

If you wish to experience the thriving business in Manchester for yourself, our Manchester travel guide and SilverDoor serviced apartments are on hand to help you get the most out your excursion.

Leave a comment

Search Apartments in Manchester


Related Articles

After work drinks? The five best beer gardens in Manchester

The return of the pub - beer garden style. With the easing of...

Top New Developments in Manchester

Manchester is a city on the brink of change. As one of the fastest...

Manchester versus London

The recent reunions of seminal indie bands Happy Mondays and The Stone...

12 Surprising Facts You Probably Never Knew About Zurich, Switzerland

The picturesque city of Zurich is renowned for being the financial...