Manchester’s State of the City report 2017 is available for download at www.manchester.gov.uk/stateofthecity.
The report, which gives in-depth information on everything from economic growth and environmental issues to health and homelessness, provides the first analysis of the progress of the Our Manchester Strategy, which sets out the vision for Manchester to be in the top flight of world-class cities by 2025.
The Our Manchester Strategy is a blueprint for the whole city, not just for the council, created through listening to the hopes and ambitions of Manchester residents, volunteers, businesses and other local partners. The strategy offers a vision of an economically, environmentally, socially and culturally thriving city, for the Mancunians of today and of the future.
The report is organised into five themes:-
A thriving and sustainable city
Manchester’s population rose to 549,000 in 2016 and is expected to continue to rise in the coming years. The city’s economy continues to thrive, driven primarily by growth in three sectors – business, financial and professional services; cultural, creative and digital; and science, research and development. Evidence of this growth can be seen across the city, for example, in Oxford Road’s Corridor Manchester area, which hosts a wealth of knowledge-intensive organisations.
A highly skilled city
A highly-skilled workforce is fundamental to Manchester’s economic growth. 39% of residents have degree level qualifications or above, but 10.7% of residents have no qualifications (a significant reduction from 25% in 2004).
Manchester’s primary school children are performing well compared to the national average, but despite recent improvements, performance at secondary school level remains below the national average.
A progressive and equitable city
Areas of deprivation in the city are less widespread than they were ten years ago and the overall proportion of children living in poverty in Manchester has fallen, but the city still has one of the highest child poverty rates in the country. The Family Poverty Strategy 2017–2022 sets out what is being done to reduce the number of vulnerable families in the city.
In response to the increasingly visible issue of homelessness and rough sleeping, Manchester’s Homelessness Charter launched in May 2016, bringing together partners from across statutory, voluntary, private and faith sectors to tackle this complex problem.
Through health and social care integration, the council and its partners are working to address significant health challenges and levels of demand for care within the city.
A liveable and low-carbon city
The Our Manchester Strategy sets out Manchester’s ambition to become a liveable city and play its part in limiting the impacts of climate change. The council is committed to increasing the amount of waste that can be recycled in Manchester and the city’s recycling rate is projected to reach 40% in 2017/8 (rising from 32% in 2015/6).
Confidence has returned to the housing market and the city has seen progress in delivering the quantity of residential development required to meet demand. Manchester expects to meet its target of 2,500 new homes this year and exceed it next year, while the Affordable Homes Programme funded the delivery of 228 homes in 2016/17. Meeting the longer-term demand for housing will be challenging and the city has produced the Residential Growth Action Plan 2017-22, setting out priorities to help achieve the target growth.
Visitor numbers to the city’s main cultural and recreational facilities rose by 10% from 2015/6 to 2016/7, but there is a continuing challenge to reach more local communities.
A connected city
Several major transport infrastructure schemes were completed in 2016, including the Second City Metrolink Crossing and the new bus and cycling infrastructure along Oxford Road and Wilmslow Road. Rail connectivity will benefit from schemes including the Ordsall Chord and High Speed 2, while international connections continue to grow through Manchester Airport.
Availability of super- and ultra-fast broadband is increasing, but with the advent of fibre broadband, there are opportunities to further improve digital connectivity across Manchester.
The Leader of Manchester City Council, Sir Richard Leese, said: “The State of the City report gives our communities, the council and partners across the city an opportunity to take stock of Manchester’s undoubted progress, but also to consider those areas where we need to redouble our efforts in the years ahead.
“Our population and economy continue to grow impressively and we are rightly proud of Manchester’s reputation as an international, outward-looking city. However, we recognise that there is vital work to be done on a range of issues, including to improve residents’ health and skills and our environment.
“Through the Our Manchester approach, we are establishing new and stronger relationships between residents, the council and our partners, so that our collective knowledge, skills and efforts are focused on the ambition for Manchester to be a thriving city, offering well-paid work and fair chances, plus world-class connections, sport and culture for everyone.”
To download the report, visit www.manchester.gov.uk/stateofthecity.