Manchester to add 100,000 people and 65,000 jobs by 2036

Manchester is set for a period of major growth in all sectors, including its population, housing, and offices over the next decade-and-a-half according to the city council’s annual State of the City report.

The report looks at sectors from property to economics to homelessness, and compares their progress to previous years, as well as laying out a vision for Manchester.

Place North West has broken down the report below. The full report can be accessed here.

Manchester State Of The City Report 2019 Construction Housing Completition


  • Mayfield is set to undergo “transformational” change according to the report. The 20-acre site at the eastern gateway of the city will include a commercial, retail and leisure development, a residential community, and a 6.5-acre city park situated along the River Medlock. Planning applications for the first phases have been submitted
  • St John’s is in its initial phases of development, but includes the £110m Factory development which will create a “world-class and nationally unique culture-and-art venue” alongside the creation of the former Granada Studios into a 200-bedroom hotel, the refurbishment of the Bonded Warehouse into an enterprise hub for SMEs, and the second location of the Manchester Tech Hub
  • Great Jackson Street is imminently set for 1,508 city centre homes as part of four residential developments that make up Deansgate Square, two of which are nearing completion. In 2018, work also started on the adjacent Crown Street development which will deliver an additional 668 homes
  • First Street saw the completion of 170,000 sq ft of Grade A commercial space in 2018, which has since been taken up by Gazprom, WSP, and Odeon. Further commercial and hotel development have been proposed and submitted to the council
  • Circle Square, the development of a commercially-led 10-acre mixed-use neighbourhood on Oxford Road Corridor continues to progress. The area has a development programme in place that is set to increase the workforce by 74,000 by 2025, with 2,000 based in Circle Square itself The Circle Square masterplan includes 2.25m sq ft of floor space, 1.34m of which will be commercial. Retail, leisure, and hotel amenities will be incorporated alongside 650 apartments and public realm. The whole site is due for completion by 2023
  • Manchester remains the largest office market of any city outside of London, with headline prime rents of £35/sq ft. Windmill Green and No.8 First Street completed between 2018 and 2019 and provided almost 250,000 sq ft
  • Further office spaces set to come forward are at Landmark with 180,000 sq ft, OneTwoFive Deansgate with 116,000 sq ft, and 4 Angel Square with 200,000 sq ft over the next few years
  • Following the potential arrival of HS2 and Northern Powerhouse Rail into Manchester Piccadilly, it is anticipated that the proposed investment in the area could bring 40,000 jobs, 13,000 homes and 8.8m sq ft of commercial development to the site and its surroundings
4 Angel Square May 2019 2

The 4 Angel Square development by MEPC, designed by SimpsonHaugh, is set to bring 200,000 sq ft of office space to the NOMA market in 2021

  • The Oxford Road Corridor, which has become an established district with a concentration of educational, research, technological and cultural assets including the universities and tech incubators. A strategic spatial framework has been developed and approved, which sets out a masterplan and guidance document for future redevelopment sites within the Oxford Road Corridor area. By 2025, an additional £2bn GVA is estimated to be generated. Over 37,000 full time equivalent jobs will be borne from the developments
  • Manchester has built over 10,000 homes since 2014/15, including 2,900 in 2018/19. This is divided between 1,500 in the city centre and 1,400 across the rest of the city. This figure is up from 2,900 in 2017/2018. Notable examples of recently completed city centre apartment blocks include 350 homes at Deansgate Square in West Tower, and 232 homes at the Trilogy on Ellesmere Street
  • Initially, in the Residential Growth Strategy, which covers the decade between 2015 and 2025, 25,000 homes were planned. This figure has since raised to 32,000 due to the favourable market conditions at the moment.
  • Forecasts suggest that homes delivery may exceed 5,000 in 2019/20
  • This year in Manchester there were more cranes in the sky than ever recorded, including the previous pre-recession construction peak in August 2005
  • There are currently over 11,000 homes under construction in Manchester, including 9,000 in the city centre. This is more than in any other core city or individual London borough, the council said, and they are set for completion over the next two to three years
  • Many homes have been backed by the £300m Greater Manchester Housing Investment Fund. Schemes coming forward from this investment in the next 12 to 18 months include 351 homes at Manchester New Square, 683 homes at Affinity Living in Circle Square, and 1,508 homes at Deansgate Square
  • Established partnerships, including the Manchester Life Development Company, a partnership between Manchester City Council and Abu Dhabi United Group, continue to progress. The MLDC completed 500 homes in 2018/19 including 124 homes at Murrays Mill, and a 199 build-to-rent scheme at Smiths Yard
  • Rents have continued to grow but new supply has taken some of the energy from the market in the past year. Rents for two-bedroom properties per calendar month have increased by 1.9% in the city centre, up from £972 in 2017/2018 to £990 in 2018/19. They have also risen 0.1% elsewhere in the city from £722 in 2017/2018 to £723 in 2018/19
  • From April 2021 onwards, the city has committed to build a minimum of 3,400 homes with 1,000 available for social rent, 1,000 for affordable rent, 1,000 for shared ownership, and the remaining 400 for other tenures including rent to buy and discounted market rent.
  • The affordable pipeline from April 2021 is expected to focus on four “Housing Affordability Zones” in Central North Manchester, Clayton, Beswick, and Wythenshaw town centre. The council will be using its land assets to create and accelerate new opportunities for development.
  • Manchester Airport is undergoing a £1bn transformation project, which will see an increase in the size of Terminal 2 and other improvements and enhancement work
Affinity Living Circle Square

Affinity Living at Circle Square will bring 683 homes to Oxford Road as part of the wider The masterplan includes over 1.2m sq ft of commercial offices, 1,700 homes and 100,000 sq ft of retail and leisure, including two subterranean units, which will all centre around 250,000 sq ft of public realm named Symphony Park


  • Population growth is concentrated to the city centre and surrounding wards. There are 100,000 more city centre residents expected by 2025 due to new development
  • Manchester City Council predicts 637,000 residents by 2025. Population growth has occurred across the whole of Manchester, but has been concentrated in the city centre and surrounding wards over the past few years.
  • Increasingly attractive accommodation, combined with the high-quality leisure and cultural offer in drawing students, graduates and professionals into the centre, while families are settling in larger numbers in the inner suburbs.


  • Total employment in Manchester has continued to rise. The latest ONS Business Register & Employment Survey shows that employment rose from 357,000 in 2015 to 392,000 in 2017
  • The largest number of employees in Manchester, at 20.2%, are employed within the financial, professional and scientific sectors. This is 6% higher than England as a whole, where 16% are employed within these sectors
  • Business, financial and professional services, along with cultural, creative, and digital services are two of the major growth sectors. Both construction and wholesale & retail are now the sectors replacing science, research and development
  • Construction in particular is projected to grow at a significant rate, driven by some of the major developments in the city

Between 1996 and 2016, 85,000 jobs were created, and another 65,000 are expected by 2036. The council said there are 1.5 jobs per Manchester resident of working age.


Manchester State Of The City Report 2019 Construction


In 2019, 123 rough sleepers were counted. This is almost three times the national average.

Increasing the access to settled homes has involved initiatives in both the social and private rented sector. The Council and six registered housing providers have a combined pot of £14m to purchase 60 large homes for Manchester families; these will have a 12-month assured shorthold tenancy, which can be extended. The rent levels are typically set at submarket rents. Work is also ongoing to review Manchester’s Social Allocations Policy to ensure that it continues to meet the housing needs of Manchester residents.

Work is also under way to establish a homeless access hubs pilot in seven areas of the city, co-ordinated by Manchester Primary Care Partnership with the support of Urban Village Medical Practice. Examples of the sorts of work that will be delivered as part of the pilot include ringfenced appointments for people experiencing homelessness, pop-up clinics in homeless hostels, enhanced support for GP registration, and extended new patient health checks for homeless patients.

Manchester State Of The City Report 2019 Homelessness

Your Comments

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The vast majority of Manchester residents don’t want any of this

By Howie

Howie – would you rather all these sites remained derelict instead? Rising population and a growing economy will benefit all Mancunians, whom you don’t speak on behalf of.

By Anonymous

The vast majority of Manchester’s residents DO want this

By Nuts

Whilst the underlying infrastructure crumbles beneath us under the strain. It’s not like there is a mass underground transit system is going to suddenly appear which is what major metro cities need. The trams help, but they’re still just buses on rail taking up road space. And that’s just one of the infrastructure issues we already face into.

By LionelRichTea

I assume you have done a survey to back this up Howie? Maybe we should abandon any form of aspiration for the city and just build some nice affordable semis with gardens in Great Jackson Street and New Islington.

This sort of news is great. Hope that Manchester continues to move forwards and grow as a major European economy. The transformation over the past decade has been phenomenal!

Lets keep it up!


Howie pal – have you personally gone out and spoken to this ‘vast majority’; or are you just mistaking your own voice as some sort of authority.

By daveboi

Agreed…I think we should start having very serious discussions about bringing some underground lines to the city to supplement the tram network.

By Anon

None of this benefits Mancunians

By Howie

@Howie – my wife and I are Mancunians. We work in Manchester, enjoy the cultural facilities in Manchester, and use the transport infrastructure to get around. Shockingly, we also used to live in the city centre before our Mancunian son was born. So, yes, it does benefit Mancunians, and it is welcome.

By Manc

This is fab news if they are right.

Howie, you certainly don’t speak for me or anybody I know! Out of curiosity, what do you actually want? Other than to moan about anything and everything.

By Thumbs Up

Manchester has become something like one of those “built overnight” Chinese cities… and not in a good way.

By Cheap and Not-that-cheerful

@Howie….howie’bout you keep quiet unless anything sensible to say

By Sssshhh

We already have an extensive underground network of tunnels.

It would be good if we started utilising them for public transport and any other uses for that matter.

By L

I’m sorry Howie but I think the responses show that you will find the vast majority do want this. I’m a Manc and I definitely want this. Looking forward to seeing the city become a truly global city. The future is Bright.

By New Wave

Interesting article. I wonder what MCC will do with the roads/infrastructure. I dread to think what the M60 will be like with 100,000 more cars on the roads.

By Anonymous

Howie, have you spoken to the vast majority of Manchester residents? You haven’t spoken with me and as a Manchester resident I can assure you I am all for it.

By monty

Don’t worry Howie when Jezza rides to the rescue you’ll get all the help you need. That may not happen for a while though. In the meantime we’ll have to put up with this ‘progress’ stuff.

By Howiesmate

I’m a Manchester resident and I see nothing wrong with this – some people just want Manchester to return to the dark ages.

By Anonymous

Great to see this ambition, but where is the support infrastructure of new public transport, new road and cycle lane capacity, health care, social services support, primary and secondary education? Without this all that is being achieved is ramming a quart into an already overflowing pint pot…

By Grumpy Old Git

From a Manchester perspective, this is all good news. But from outside looking in, it’s a little bit of a worry. The worry being that the pull of Manchester will become so great, that the best the rest of us in the North West can hope for is to be Croydon. Or maybe Reading. And we can’t help wanting better for our cities than that.

The bigger economic question is whether the growth of Manchester can act as a spur for regeneration elsewhere or whether we’re all just doomed to become commuter town and weekend jolly locations.

By Denby

Where will I park my flying car? the sky’s will be full


The problems of growth are the nice problems to have.

By Rich X

@Howie – keeps me and my missus, both Manc born, in high skill employment. How does that work into your theory?

By daveboi

Well and truly leading the way.

Shame the other cities aren’t as forward thinking. Manchester is starting to look fantastic lately, couldn’t believe it when I visited the other day!

By Don

Denby makes a good point. Manchester looks like Chicago. Oldham looks like Flint, Michigan. The success is contained within the ring road, Salford Quays and the plutocracies to the South of the city. I wish that Oldham and Bolton could become Reading or even God forbid Croydon.That would at least be an improvement on the current dire state of these towns.

By Elephant

The Manchester Life Development Company are absolute bobbins. Have you seen the state of their new builds in New Islington compared even to the private sector equivalents? For a partnership that’s supposed to be about taking a long term, holistic approach and encouraging long term occupation their offer is embarrassing. Their builds look like something that would embarrass a developer of student halls of residence and lacks basic amenities such as balconies and ground floor commercial units; stuff that encourages street life, knits a community together and promoted long term occupation as opposed to transience.

What value has the public subsidy added here? MCC hang your head in shame.

By Manchester Life Are Bobbins

This is only half the story: what about Salford with Greengate, Chapel Street, Salford Quays and Media City etc. where thousands of homes and more new offices are being constructed. Ray W.

By Anonymous

Manchester is the place to be… for the next 17 years at least

By L

As a Mancunian born and bred I welcome all these developments and the growth of the city centre. I also agree we need an underground system but not just for the city centre but across Greater Manchester starting will a link from Bolton, Wigan through the city centre to Stockport areas not currently covered by Metrolink.

By Lenny1968

They need to sort the knife crime first, it’s out of control people are leaving Manchester

By Dan

So MCC predict a population of 637,000 by 2025. As someone who worked in the Temporary Recruitment sector for 14 years, these projections need to be increased by at least 10% to arrive at an accurate current and projected population figure. There are THOUSANDS of people living in Manchester who arrived using snide passports & other ID documents, who have dispersed into the ” black economy” and are paid cash in hand. Similarly, I had experience of many people on fixed term student, holiday & work visas simply not returning to their countries of origin when their visas expired. There are thousands of people living and working incognito in the black economy who do not appear on any official database. The combined true population of Manchester-Salford (the two cities overlap) at present is probably between 950,000 and 1million imo.

By Bilderburg Attendee

This is all great news…but the Manchester City Council needs to make more provisions for affordable housing and a sustainable transport system if the city is to truly prosper.

By Kerry D

I live in Manchester as well. I don’t want this and nor does me dad. To many people and to much traffic. I used to be able to park in the centre for free and don’t like to walk far so need to be able to drive to the shops. We need more shops with lots of free parking out the front and we don’t get any. They closed it down in great ancoats st. So that proves we dont want it. We need more free or cheap parking.

By Howie

Manchester is following the ‘Dubai Model’: blow up a ridiculous real estate bubble, induce large migration flows, extract rent from wages (which cannot keep pace with rising prices) and hope to ride out the resulting homelessness, social and political crises that will follow.

‘Growth’ is a pleasant sounding buzzword to describe a form of neo feudalism where anarcho capital displaces real productivity, wage growth, attachment to land, security and quality of life.
This is what people in Manchester (really) want, especially, those under 40 years of age and dependent on wages for a living.

The financial side of this model collapsed in 2008 and saddled us with £1.5 trillion in debt. The rentier aspect of the model has carried on and will, likely, cause a political revolution in this country before it is replaced. Brexit is just the start of the push back.

By rentier

Are those stats right! I think the report states 100,000 total residents by 2025…not 100,000 more residents!

By Andy

Hi Andy, thanks for your comment and your interest. It is an additional 100,000 residents in Manchester by 2025, which you can find on page 16 in the report.

By Chloé Vaughan

@Andy – The report actually states both “100,000 more city-centre residents are expected by 2025” and “with 100,000 residents potentially
living there by 2025″…. Obviously you are correct in assuming it’s a total of 100,000. Fairly impressive for that little, but very important detail to pass over the heads of both MCC and PNW.

By daveboi

The trauma centre at the MRI is already by far the busiest in the UK and struggling to cope, the idea of adding more people is dangerous

By Bob

I read all of these replies to “Howie” and genuinely thought that everyone were Geordies.

By Kieran

WOAHHH Kieran, chill out mate.

By Kieran

Ah Howie, now I understand. You’re scared of change and desperately wish that everything could just be like it was x number of years ago, when you last felt like you understood the world. There’s no need to worry though – progress will always happen whether you like it or not, so might as well just sit back and enjoy it.

By Howie Is Stupid

I don’t want this to look like an attack on you Howie as I appreciate your opinion – even if it is different to mine. But your latest statement lamenting the loss of free parking and want parking directly outside of shops tips it for me. If you want this, then a suburban mall or big box complex is your requirement, not inner city lifestyle. You can have your cake and let the rest of us have ours. Just stick to the suburbs. You can drive and park in front of your shops.

But city centres are not about cars, or about car parking, it’s about life. We should discourage even more people from entering the city by car and these new towers achieve that. They allow people to live, work and shop in the inner city. For those outside the city centre, we need to increase public transport – improve the existing rail and Metrolink networks and add underground metro lines. The more people who live in the city centre, increases the work and entertainment opportunities as well, increasing the viability of improving our public transport network.

Howie, your world still exists, but just not in the city centre. Your world is White City shopping precinct or the Trafford Centre.


Rising population of transient students and hi-rise flats to house them in is that…

By Nopublic space

Howie and those of the left generally are good at saying what they hate but clueless about what they like. They just want to go back to ‘the good old days’. Well I grew up in Manchester in those ‘good old days’ in the 70s and 80s – it was grim; utterley grim; there was no future. I left as soon as I could. I can’t describe how good it feels to see Manchester come roaring back economically. I love my visits back now. And to top it all my kids absolutely love the place. My son wants to go to Uni there. I couldn’t be happier.

By In exile

As a fellow manicurist, I agree with Howie, I’d go as far to say the vast majority of Earth residents don’t want any of this.
A recent study shows 100% of Manicurists don’t want “any of this”

*Subjects of study were Howie’s thoughts

By NeverBeen2Manchester

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