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9 December 2004

MMU boosts city's growth - report

Courses 'complement' regional industries

MMU’s work is highly complementary to the future direction of the Manchester economy, according to a major new report on the future of the city.

Courses, training, research and consultancy at MMU feed into 11 of the 14 planks of the regional economy singled out in the Marketing Plan for the City of Manchester 2004-7, published by Manchester City Council.

Growth sectors identified in the Plan, which are also key strengths of Manchester Metropolitan University, are:

- Airport
- Retail
- Creative Industries
- Education
- Manufacturing and Engineering
- Financial Services
- Health
- Biotechnology
- Information and Communications Technology
- Sport
- Tourism and Hospitality

- Manchester Airport is strengthening links with MMU’s Centre for Air Transport and the Environment to help control noise, pollution and climate change. The Airport sponsors a University Chair in Sustainable Aviation to help ensure the airport’s future development is sustainable.

- MMU established the UK’s first degree in Retail Marketing and runs management courses for Sainsbury’s and other companies and also spearheads the Retail Enterprise Network, Europe’s largest support group for the independent retail sector.

- The Faculty of Art and Design graduates 1,500 students each year for the city’s burgeoning creative industries. Staff and students exhibit prize-winning work at the Lowry, Cornerhouse and other galleries and many graduates go on to set up their own businesses in fashion, advertising, film and TV and digital media.

- The University’s Institute of Education is the largest teacher training centre in the North and provides cutting edge research and best practice project work for government and professional bodies.

- MMU is acclaimed nationwide for rail technology, automation and process control, road safety engineering, and software engineering. The North West Food Centre helps manufacturing companies bring new foods and products to market.

- The University’s Centre for Professional Accounting meets the needs of the financial services industry for research, professional development and networking and played a role in bringing the Bank of New York to Manchester.

- Training of registered nurses, community nurses, physiotherapists, physiologists and speech and language therapists provides a key dimension in National Health Service reform and delivery.

- Two biotechnology breakthroughs by MMU scientists are paying dividends for the brewing and water industries. A new process of continuous ethanol production raises productivity twenty-fold, and a project to halve the cost of treating wastewater is being run in conjunction with United Utilities at Manchester’s Davyhulme plant with MMU spin-out company Advanced Bioprocess Development Ltd.

- MMU runs undergraduate, postgraduate and professional programmes in Business Information Technology, Information Management and Software Engineering. The Business School hosts BIT World, the world’s leading conference for Business Information scholars.

- Sport is huge in Manchester culturally and economically, and MMU contributes significantly through the health and regeneration research centre, Manchester Institute for Sport and Physical Activity and via our ‘World Class’ Exercise and Sport Science department.

- MMU has one of the largest bases for education and training in Tourism and Hospitality and enjoys an international reputation for vocational education and research.

The report also identifies the two recurrent themes about much of what is written and said about Manchester - energy and regeneration.

It says: “There is a persistent and powerful theme in Manchester of youthfulness and youthful energy. This is accentuated by the universities and the impact of a large student population.”

It concludes that Manchester is a liberal and innovative city which is 'going places'.

For more information on these initiatives and other regional developments please go to or phone 0161 247 3429.