Council plan outlines investments for economic recovery and new jobs

A plan setting out how Manchester will emerge from the economic shock of the Covid-19 pandemic was published this week. 

This comes as Greater Manchester prepares to head into Tier 3 restrictions when lockdown is lifted. 

The ‘Powering Recovery: Manchester’s Recovery and Investment Plan’, developed by Manchester City Council with the support of city business leaders, has two core elements – early actions to cushion the impact of the Covid-19 downturn, and long-term investment programmes in key sectors.

Early steps envisage a £72 million two-year programme to provide support to 12,000 people, offering educational qualifications, training for high-demand skills e.g. digital skills, and supporting self-employment. 

A minimum of 15% of this funding will be focused on supporting the green economy. 

The city is also seeking £798.9 million in government funding for four investment propositions across innovation, the urban centre, residential retrofit, and North Manchester regeneration.

This involves a new innovation district and two innovation parks for science and technology, enhanced public spaces, green housing, and building developments in the northern part of the city.

On Wednesday, Chancellor Rishi Sunak delivered a spending review which predicted that the UK economy will shrink by 11.3% this year.

Sir Richard Leese, Leader of Manchester City Council, said: “We recognise that there are people and businesses who have been badly affected by the economic downturn and are doing everything in our power to cushion the worst impacts.

“Manchester has both the foundations and building blocks in place to re-establish its previous momentum as the UK’s premier growth city.

“As well as an array of business talent, we have a pipeline of game-changing projects with the potential to power the recovery.”

Chris Oglesby, CEO of Bruntwood and Chair of Manchester’s independent Business Sounding Board, said: “Manchester has come a long way over the last thirty years and Covid has really accelerated the need for us to move forwards. 

“We have to balance honesty about the challenges with justifiable confidence in the future.” 

The plan was launched at a webinar on Wednesday when businesses heard more about how they can engage and help drive forward the next chapter of the city’s growth. 

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