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Moving To Manchester

Katie Cullen
Written by Katie Cullen
2nd May 2017 (Last updated on Friday 31st August 2018)

If you're thinking about moving to Manchester this in-depth guide has you covered.

Known as ‘the powerhouse of the north of England’, Manchester is one of the largest UK cities and offers huge opportunities in a diverse job sector, as well as an incredibly rich culture with a multitude of activities for you to try.

Between 2013 and 2014, 68,000 people left London for Manchester, due to the high cost of living and the poorer quality of life. Rising house prices would indicate this trend might continue, so this week, we have created a guide for anyone thinking of living in Manchester, outlining everything from the job sector, popular places to visit, to the cost of living and what to expect from the weather.

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This article will cover the following points

Facts and Figures The Job Sector in Manchester Where to Live in Manchester Cost of Living in Manchester Transport in and Around Manchester Things to See and Do in Manchester Manchester's Famous Weather

Facts and Figures

  • Average house price (rent): £1,160 per month
  • Average flat price (rent): £630 per month
  • Average cost of meal: £10
  • Average cost of pint: £3
  • Average wages: £524.90 per week
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The Job Sector in Manchester

Manchester’s economy is one of the strongest in the UK. Famously the world's first industrialised city, it is seen as a global city with a range of booming sectors.

Manchester is said to have a high quality of life, and attracts investment from across the world. Manchester has a large student population, which is reflected in research and technology clusters.

If you are moving to Manchester and are looking for a job, the following are core sectors of employment in the area:

Financial Services

Manchester’s banks, insurance companies and investment firms are responsible for 7% of the UK’s financial services and banking output. With 100,000 employees, the financial sector is behind only London and Edinburgh. Big employers include The Co-operative Group and the Royal Bank of Scotland, and the Spinningfields is fast becoming a renowned banking district.

Manufacturing and Engineering

Manufacturing and Engineering is a huge industry in Manchester – making up 16.1% of the city's economy. Manchester has a huge amount of aeronautics and defence workers, with a range of specialist companies focusing on a whole spectrum of materials and industry, all enforced by research clusters.

Logistics

Manchester’s location makes it an ideal place for logistics companies – it’s only a 2-hour driving radius of over 60% of UK companies. It’s also a perfect centre of distribution for national companies such as Adidas, Kellogg’s and L’Oreal. The World Freight Terminal is found in Manchester Airport, connecting the city globally.

Health

Along with its major hospitals, Manchester has a leading pharmaceutical sector with a reputation for innovation.  The health and social care sector employs more than 46,000 people in the city.

Education

You may be moving for education, and Manchester has major universities (Salford, Manchester University and Manchester Metropolitan) and vibrant student life. If you are moving with children and need to find a school, there are several available - Manchester is a centre for educational services.

Creative and Digital

Over the past decade, Manchester’s creative industry has developed as a result of the £3.5 billion investment into companies and infrastructure. The city houses the regional headquarters for both ITV and the BBC, and is the home of MediaCityUK. The city has access to the best internet speeds in the UK, and in this environment digital start-ups and established companies are flourishing. 

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Where to Live in Manchester

Although rents in Manchester may be slightly higher than other cities, if you are moving from London, you could end up paying half of your London rent for a larger flat or house in a better location.

Vibrant and Social

If you're looking for a busy, vibrant style of life, there are a few areas to look into. Castlefield is a bustling area with waterfront bars and a thriving social scene. Fallowfield is a thriving area and is hugely popular among students and young professionals. 

Quieter Options

If you are looking to commute, Sale and Prestwich are good options. These areas are barely 5 a minutes commute from the city centre, but are quieter with open and accessible green spaces. This is not something you would find just outside most city centres! With well-stocked amenities and a large choice of shops, these are a great option for families and those looking to settle down.

First Time Buyers

If you're buying your first home then you should consider areas like Salford and  Moston and other areas of Greater Manchester which are very affordable.

Cost of Living in Manchester

We look at the average cost of renting and buying a house in these popular Manchester areas.

**Current Average House Price for January 2018 Zoopla Zed-Index
*Current average monthly asking rent January 2018 Zoopla
AreaRent Per Month (3 Bedrooms)*Price to Buy**
Castlefield£1,189£215,879
Fallowfield£995£196,968
Sale£959£310,136
Prestwich£786£229,399
Salford£1,064£164,074
Moston£680£123,659

Transport in and Around Manchester

Manchester’s transport system features regular bus and tram services throughout the city. For a monthly ticket, it costs £46 for local transport.

If you have just moved to Manchester, it is likely you will be visiting the city centre at some point, so you will probably have to use the trams. You need to know the difference between pedestrian-only and shared-pedestrian tram pavements.

Manchester also has the Metrolink, a light rail system operating through Greater Manchester from the north in Bury to the south in Altrincham. The Metrolink’s ticket purchasing system is incredibly user friendly. It auto-completes the name of your station, is available in several languages, and can be paid for using your card or cash.

The only issue is that you cannot buy a ticket on the tram – it has to be bought on the platform.

The city’s location is also favourable as it gives you fast and easy access to London and every other major UK city.

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Things to See and Do in Manchester

When you move to Manchester, you will find that it offers a range of activities for you to enjoy at an affordable price. In general, for meals out, it usually costs £10 per person. A beer usually costs £3 per pint, and a glass of wine would cost £3.50.

If you have just arrived in Manchester, there are certain places you should definitely visit to immerse yourself in the culture.

The Northern Quarter

This trendy area is especially popular amongst students. It’s famous for its independent retailers, beer houses, bars, clubs and coffee shops. If you’re looking for cheap food, this is the place to go!

Curry Mile

Named, unsurprisingly, after the mile-long stretch of curry houses, take aways and kebab shops on Wilmslow Road to Rusholme in South Manchester, you have to pay this place a visit!

The Trafford Centre

Whether you are a fan of shopping or not, once you move to Manchester, a visit to The Trafford Centre is mandatory. The décor will be enough to convince you of its greatness, with Greek, Roman and Egyptian civilizations showcased, making it look more like a museum and gallery than a shopping centre.

The Trafford Centre boasts tons of restaurants with food from around the world, and if you are on a day out with children, you can visit Legoland and the Sea Life Aquatic Centre.

Visit the Museums

Manchester has so many museums to choose from, and visiting them would be a great way to spend the day and soak up the culture, especially when the weather isn’t great (a regular occurrence in Manchester!).

Luckily, a lot of these museums have free entry, including:

  • The Lowry (for art and entertainment)
  • Museum of Science & Industry
  • National Football Museum
  • People’s History Museum
  • The Manchester Museum
  • The Manchester Art Gallery
  • The Whitworth Art Gallery
Visit the Countryside

As varied as the city is and all the activities it offers, the surrounding countryside is definitely worth a visit. The Peak District is less than an hour away from Manchester (by car). If you’re feeling adventurous, you can cycle, go horse riding, climb or walk around there.

Manchester's Famous Weather

If you’re moving to Manchester from a relatively sunny place, you should be aware that it rains. A lot. The best chance of sun would be in the summer months of June, July and August with a maximum temperature of between 19 and 20 degrees, but it’s always a good idea to keep an umbrella on your person.

In the winter months, you can expect some snow, with the coldest temperatures between 2 and 3 degrees, in November, December and January.

So, if you are considering moving to Manchester, it can offer you a rich and diverse job sector, along with several fun and cultural activities to keep you entertained at an affordable price. Compared to London, the cost of living is much cheaper, especially considering the location and size of the properties. Once you master the transport system, you will feel right at home!

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