A report by Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) and the International Longevity Centre (ILC) into the older generations has shown that the city-region can benefit from an ageing population.
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) estimates that the number of over 50s will increase by 21% by 2040. In 2018 alone, this age group accounted for nearly have of all spending by Greater Manchester residents on recreation, culture, restaurants and hotels – a total of approximately £3.5 billion.
Research from the ILC estimates that over 65s in Greater Manchester are increasing in spending power by £280 million each year, but older generations save over £2 billion a year that could be spent in the local economy.
The ILC’s research also highlighted that poor health, and a lack of products and services that are aimed at older consumers can pose barriers to spending for those later in life.
Some solutions proposed of how Greater Manchester can leverage the so-called grey pound to boost its local economy include increasing accessibility for older visitors, with a potential boost in high street spending of over £50 million each year.
David Sinclair, Director, International Longevity Centre UK commented:
Unlocking just some of this untapped spending power by improving the accessibility of our high streets, investing in public toilets, or designing innovative products and services that cater to consumers of all ages, would be a major boost to the city region’s economy. Our analysis demonstrates that there is a longevity dividend for Greater Manchester from meeting the needs and aspirations of older consumers.”
“Greater Manchester is ideally placed to maximise these opportunities. As the UK’s first age-friendly city region, it is at the forefront of global efforts to adapt to demographic change and population ageing, and cities and towns across the UK should follow Greater Manchester’s lead in capitalising on the economic opportunities of ageing and promoting healthy and active ageing for all.”
Greater Manchester’s lead for Age-Friendly and Equalities, Cllr Brenda Warrington said:
This report highlights just how beneficial an age-friendly society can be to Greater Manchester’s economy and we are ready to capitalise on these significant opportunities.”
“We have been recognised by the World Health Organization as the UK’s first age-friendly city-region, and thanks to our world-leading academic research and work of the Greater Manchester Ageing Hub, this is the best place in the UK for innovation and insight into ageing.”
Alongside the research, GMCA has also launched a photography competition, asking Greater Manchester residents to submit photographs that challenge stereotypes of the older generations with positive and realistic images.