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Biggest student population in Europe set to give Manchester businesses much needed boost

By Ailsa Macmillan

Manchester businesses are set for a much needed boost with the arrival of thousands of students this week.

Around 90,000 students are thought to have arrived at Salford, Manchester and Manchester Metropolitan universities for Freshers’ week.

Manchester has the largest student population in Europe, which brings a lot of revenue to the city.

Dr Brian Sloan, Head of Business and Economic Policy for Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce, explained: “I think students make a very positive contribution to businesses in Manchester.

“A lot of money that students have will be spent in Freshers’ week.”

Students spend money eating out, in pubs, clubs, on accommodation, on food, shopping and at smaller independent retailers.

Mike Howarth, Topshop Supervisor, 22 said: “Topshop does definitely benefit from students as they bring a lot of income and trade.”

And Ross Pagent, a Primark Supervisor, 18, explained that it is more than just as customers that the students make an impact on Manchester ‘s shops.

He said: “Students are looking for jobs and provide a valuable temporary workforce.”

A range of services will benefit from the return of students to Manchester, including taxi services.

Egop Anov, Manager of 24/7 Taxi service, 52, said: “We are expecting a lot of students to arrive and expect up to a 20-30 percent increase in business.”

And students themselves confirmed that they do indeed spend a fair amount in the city.

Laura McLaughlin, Geography and geology student at Manchester University, 20, said: “I definitely spend most of my money on my social life.”

Pheobe Jane Smith, English Language student at Manchester University, 20, said:  “I spend most of my money on food.

“But I have heard of people spending all their money during Freshers’ week and having to extend their loan and overdraft!”

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