THE HUGE economic and social contribution of the University of Salford to the city region has been revealed in a new report.
Salford Untold: Our City, Our Region, Your University, shows that across Greater Manchester the University contributes £319 million in economic impact and over 5,700 jobs in the city region are dependent on the University and its students. And with recent UCAS figures showing Salford to be the fastest growing university in the North West and the fifth fastest in the UK, this impact is only set to get bigger and bigger.
Launched today, the report shines a light on the contribution that the University and its students make to Salford, Greater Manchester and beyond.
The University’s most obvious impact is through education. Salford has always been a widening participation university and this commitment to opening access to Higher Education and raising aspirations remains.
In the four years from 2014, 22% of students from Greater Manchester came from the lowest participation in Higher Education backgrounds and a third came from low income households.
While Salford recruits locally, young people from across the country are attracted in to the city region because of the University and over a third (37%) of students from outside of Greater Manchester remain in the city region once they have graduated, adding to a highly skilled talent pool and helping to grow the regional economy. The money they spend is also vital to the shops and businesses of the region and is valued at £238 million every year.
Among the findings are that many of the jobs created are highly skilled and are in deprived areas of the city, that have a huge need for such employment. In Salford, the University and its students are responsible for one in every 32 jobs in the city.
The University is continuing to invest significantly in Salford, with plans for a new £300 million campus masterplan as part of the wider Salford Crescent £800 million regeneration project. This project will see the University’s upgraded campus better linked with local industry, culture, and people to create a city district that will drive economic growth, inclusivity and innovation.
The University of Salford recently became the first Greater Manchester University to commit to signing a ‘Civic University Agreement’ in partnership with Salford City Council and other partners. This was a major recommendation from a report by the Civic University Commission from the UPP Foundation and chaired by the former head of the civil service, Lord Bob Kerslake. The report sets out how universities like Salford have the opportunity and the responsibility to make a positive contribution to their cities and regions.
Vice Chancellor Professor Helen Marshall said: “Salford is a bold and ambitious city that is part of a bold an ambitious city region, and the University of Salford matches that attitude.
“We are proud to play such an active part in the fabric of our city and our region and this new report shows just how much impact the University has. From providing the skilled workforce of the future to addressing major social and economic challenges, we truly believe that our successes are Salford and Greater Manchester’s successes too.
“Combine what we have achieved so far with what we want to do in the future and it is clear that the University is a key part of the economic and cultural life of the city and wider region and as we grow our impact is only going to get greater.”
Salford City Mayor Paul Dennett said: “This report really highlights how the University of Salford plays a key role in attracting talent to the city and wider region and this helps spread economic benefit and works towards our shared aim of helping local people.
“The key skills and career building that the university provides is essential for the region.
“And through work such as the anti-poverty task force and support for care homes the university brings social benefits too.
“If everyone contributes a little towards social value, then together we can make a huge impact for the benefit of Salford people and the North West as a whole.”