Manchester is the regional capital of the north west of England, the UK’s largest economic region outside London. The region comprises some 2.5 million households, has a population of over six million and a GDP of £50 billion. The Greater Manchester conurbation is by far the most densely populated part of the region, with over 2.5 million people living in an area of 1,200 km2. Manchester stands at the heart of both the conurbation and the region. The city itself, having a population of around 430,000, is the largest of the ten Greater Manchester districts, but in a relatively small area of 117 km².
Manchester is a city of startling contrasts and significant challenges. It is the north west’s regional centre for finance, commerce, retail, culture and leisure, home to Manchester International Airport and one of the largest student populations in Europe.
Manchester is transforming itself from an industrial city dependent on manufacturing to a thriving, modern, dynamic, international city.
Whilst manufacturing remains important, Manchester has attracted growth in the knowledge - based economy and is in the top ten of European cities for business location.