More than half a million living in poverty in Greater Manchester, report reveals

PA

More than half a million people in Greater Manchester are living in poverty despite its economic success, a report has found.

Greater Manchester - which is the UK's third largest city-region economy outside of London - has seen growth in its economy, but has an estimated 620,000 people, including 180,000 children, living in poverty.

The research, from the independent charity the Joseph Rowntree Foundation and The University of Manchester, aims to make poverty reduction central to economic growth and devolution in Greater Manchester.

The lead author and head of the Inclusive Growth Analysis Unit, Professor Ruth Lupton, said the report showed that economic growth in its own right could not be relied upon to improve social outcomes.

The report, released today, also revealed that there are 585,000 residents living in Greater Manchester neighbourhoods which are in the most deprived 10% in the country.

Employment rates for disabled people and those from ethnic minorities, also lag behind the UK average.

The report states that the region tends to score worse than the average across a range of inclusion indicators than other core cities outside London.

It does note Manchester's impressive revival in the 20 years since the IRA bomb and shows that Greater Manchester has had the 3rd highest growth in economic output (GVA) of city regions outside London between 1997 and 2014.

The £57bn GVA generated in 2014 made Greater Manchester the second largest English city-region economy after Leeds outside London and in 2014 there were 85,000 more jobs than 2011, with a further 111,000 forecast by 2024.

Professor Lupton, said she hoped that the report will be, a "call to action" to anyone who wants to see a more inclusive Greater Manchester - not just a more prosperous one.

She added: "That levels of poverty and inequality remain so high in Greater Manchester is unjust and a waste of too many people's talents and energies. We urgently need to find ways to include more people in the benefits of increased prosperity."

Mike Hawking, partnership manager for cities at the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, said: "The next mayor of Greater Manchester will have a key role to play in ensuring everyone benefits from economic growth, especially people and places who have traditionally been left behind.

"Manchester's growth has been remarkable and there are encouraging signs this success will continue, but the challenge will be sharing the proceeds of economic growth. Tackling poverty will ensure everyone has the opportunity to contribute to the region's success, not least for business whose biggest challenge is to boost productivity.

"With substantial powers and budgets at their disposal, the incoming Greater Manchester Mayor - working with businesses, central government, town halls and communities - must harness their powers to foster inclusive growth."