Moving to Manchester

Moving to a major city like Manchester can be a daunting prospect, so we’ve compiled a useful collection of tips to make your move as stress-free as possible.

In 2016, Manchester was voted the Best UK City to Live In by the Economist Intelligence Unit which ranks 140 cities worldwide based on health care, education, stability, culture and environment and infrastructure. It’s no wonder, then, that 68,000 people left London for Manchester between 2013 and 2014, attracted by the lower cost of living and higher quality of life.

Jobs in Manchester

Manchester’s thriving economy has remained buoyant despite the recession; unemployment in the city is below the national average, and average earnings are comparatively high, and Manchester’s policy of supporting businesses with low tax rates has attracted a diverse range of talents.

Key areas of employment are currently found in the following sectors:

  • Banking/Financial Services
    Manchester ranks amongst the top 30 cities in the world for investment, and it’s banks, insurance companies and investment firms employ around 100,000 people; it’s the third largest in the UK, and accounts for 7% of the UK’s financial output. Notable banking institutions based in Manchester include The Royal Bank of Scotland and The Bank of New York Mellon.
  • Logistics
    Manchester is only a 2-hour drive from more than 60% of the companies in the UK, which makes it an ideal site for major logistics companies such as Kuehne & Nagel and Wincanton. Major national companies such as Adidas, Kellogg’s, L’Oreal, Office Depot and Procter & Gamble also make Manchester home for their distribution centres for this reason.
  • Manufacturing and Engineering
    Manchester’s thriving manufacturing sector makes up more than 16% of the local economy, and is home to a number of military and aeronautic contractors.
  • Construction
    Manchester has invested heavily in construction in recent years, with such large- scale developments as the ongoing Metrolink expansion. Future planned developments such as the £50 billion Atlantic Gateway will ensure construction jobs in Manchester will be plentiful for the foreseeable future.
  • Retail
    Manchester boasts the highest numbers of “premium retailers” in the country. In addition to the massive Manchester Arndale, which is home to 210 stores and services, the city has a number of small centres including the upmarket and fashionable The Triangle and the Royal Exchange Centre.
  • Health
    Manchester is home to several leading pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies as well as major hospitals. It’s health sector employs more than 20,000 people.

Cost of Living in Manchester

The cost of living in Manchester compares extremely favourably to that in London. According to comparison site Expatistan, the rent on a 900 sq ft furnioshed flat is more than 50% cheaper in Manchester, and the cost of utilities for a small flat is 32% cheaper. Buying a house is even more of a bargain, with prices as much as 60% cheaper than in the country’s capital city. In fact, virtually every aspect of modern life is more affordable in Manchester, from food, clothing and transport to personal care and entertainment.

Transport in Manchester

Although Manchester has fewer cars per head of population than any other city in the UK it still suffers from major traffic congestion due to the dense nature of the Greater Manchester conurbation, so many residents make use of the regular bus and tram services that run throughout the city.

Manchester has a high-frequency light rail system called Metrolink which operates from the Bury in the north to Altrincham in the south. Tickets are simple to purchase and the trams run every 6-12 minutes. The city also has an extensive bus network, including a night bus service which is one of the most extensive outside of London.

Things to See and Do in Manchester

Manchester can boast a wealth of varied activities available at an affordable price. Meals out generally cost around £10 per person, while a pint of beer costs £3 per pint and a glass of wine will set you back just £3. Popular tourist attractions in Manchester include:

  • Curry Mile
    A famous mile-long run of curry houses and kebab shops that stretches from Wilmslow Road to Rusholme in South Manchester which will appeal to anyone with a taste for exotic, spicy food.
  • Museums
    Manchester has a huge number of museums, many of which are free to enter. These include:
    • The Lowry
    • The Manchester Art Gallery
    • The Manchester Museum
    • The Museum of Science and Industry
    • The National Football Museum
    • The Whitworth Gallery
  • The Northern Quarter
    A lively,bustling part of the city that is popular amongst Manchester’s student community, The Northern Quarter is famous for its selection of coffee shops. Cafes, bars, clubs and. independent retailers.
  • The Trafford Centre
    The second largest shopping centre in the UK, The Trafford Centre is located approximately five miles from Manchester’s city centre but is well worth a visit for shopaholics. The Centre is home to 280 stores and boasts Europe’s largest food court, The Orient, which seats 1600 people.

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