Manchester Today: Useful Stats

Manchester Today in 2023


  • A world city, leading travel publications placed Manchester on their ‘must-see’ lists for 2023 (Lonely Planet, Conde Nast, National Geographic, Time Out)
  • One of Europe’s fastest growing cities and the 3rd most visited destination in the UK for domestic and international visitors
  • Named ‘the UK’s most liveable city’ by The Economist’s Liveability Index (2022)
  • The UK’s 2nd largest creative, digital and tech hub, with companies that IPO above £1 billion (including, The Hut Group, Boohoo), and global players such as BBC, Google, IBM, and Cisco
  • Over 80 of the FTSE 100 have a presence in Manchester, and other high-profile corporates occupy new developments including GCHQ and Amazon
  • The ‘Bee Network’, an integrated London-style smart transport system, will bring together buses, trams, cycling and rail by 2030


  • In 2020, tourism was worth £9 billion to Greater Manchester, up from £4.9 billion in 2006, supporting 100,000+ jobs
  • Pre-pandemic saw 10 million ‘staying visitors’ and 120 million ‘day visitors’
  • The hotel market is growing rapidly and is the largest outside London by room count
  • Between 2021 and 2024, 4,000+ extra hotel rooms are opening, a 37% increase. By 2024, the city centre will have 15,000+ rooms
  • Manchester Accommodation BID (ABID) launched in April 2023. The initiative will deliver events and activities to attract people to stay, and improve the guest experience
  • The ABID is funded by a City Visitor Charge (£1 per room/unit/night), and will raise an estimated £15 million of extra investment during its first, 5-year term (2023-2028)
  • Pre-Covid, Manchester Airport was servicing 30 million passengers/year. As of April 2023, passenger numbers had returned to 90% of pre-Covid volumes
  • The airport is the UK’s 3rd busiest airport and is completing a 10-year, £1 billion investment plan. The new Terminal 2 building opened in July 2022, doubling passenger capacity


  • The population of the city of Manchester is 600,000 (+200,000 over the past 20 years). Greater Manchester’s population is 2.8 million
  • 20,000 people have moved into the city centre in the past decade, and in that time, Manchester’s population has increased by twice the average UK growth rate
  • The city centre population is forecast to grow by a further 10% by 2025
  • 7.2 million people live within an hour’s drive of the city centre, the largest ‘travel to work radius’ in the UK outside of London

Cultural Venues & Spaces

  • Alongside the city’s existing events calendar, sporting and cultural assets, 2023-2024 will see Manchester landmarks develop
  • A0 Arena’s owners ASM Group have started a £50 million redevelopment programme to re-imagine the venue
  • A new second arena, the £365 million Co-Op Live, owned by OVG Group and City Football Group, opens spring 2024. With a capacity of 23,500, it will be the largest indoor arena in the UK
  • Factory International, the new £200 million arts centre is opening from June 2023, as the home of Manchester International Festival (MIF). It is a 7,000 capacity venue
  • The Manchester Town Hall restoration completes in 2024. The site will include a much larger public events space in Albert Square
  • The city centre and surrounds continue to grow, with public spaces including Mayfield Park, Circle Square, NOMA, Kampus, St John’s, Meadowside, Middlework Locks, RHS Bridgewater and more


  • In May 2022, Colliers ranked the city centre as the top UK retail and leisure destination for the 3rd year running
  • One of the UK’s biggest retail economies after London, with annual sales over £900 million
  • Annual footfall in the BID central retail district was c.40 million people, pre-pandemic
  • From the depths of Covid lockdowns at -85% vs 2019, overall footfall trends during 2022 and into 2023 have recovered in line with other major cities (especially at weekends)


  • £1.8 billion worth of deals were recorded after the market rebound in 2021, from the UK’s ‘Big 6’ cities. 39% was transacted in Manchester alone
  • A further 1.3 million sq. ft. of new office space is under construction from 2022
  • Central property developments like Circle Square and St John’s continue to add hundreds of thousands of sq. ft. commercial space, attracting major players


  • Manchester is home to the UK’s largest university and one of Europe’s largest student populations
  • 100,000 students live and study within Manchester, including a high proportion of international students (up to 20%)
  • 50% graduation retention rate, second only to London, provides a continuous supply of skilled labour


  • Economic forecasts indicate the next decade will see continued growth, with 65,000 extra jobs. Increasing total city centre employment to 315,000 by 2040
  • 30% growth is predicted across Science, R&D, Cultural, Creative and Digital sectors
  • In Manchester and Salford city centres, 20,000 new homes have been built over the past 6 years. In 2023, 7,000 dwellings are under construction, with a similar number granted planning
  • 500 current Manchester businesses are accredited ‘Real Living Wage’ employers

Sources: CityCo, Colliers, Creative Tourist, Deloitte, GMCA, Growth Company, JLL, Manchester Airport, Manchester BID, Manchester City Council, Marketing Manchester, Place Northwest