Economy COVID19 Sit Rep Report
Report of the Director of City Centre Growth and Infrastructure and Director of Inclusive Economy attached
This report provides Committee Members with a further update summary of the current situation in the city in relation to COVID-19 and an update on the work progressing in Manchester in relation to areas within the remit of this Committee.
The Committee considered a report of the Director of City Centre Growth and Infrastructure and Director of Inclusive Economy which provided Members with an update on the current situation in the city in relation to Covid-19 and on the work progressing in Manchester within the Committee’s remit.
Key points and themes in the report included:
- The report offered a general overview in addition to considering updates on the following areas: developments, footfall, culture, infrastructure, work and skills, funding and government legislation
Some of the key points that arose from the Committee’s discussions were:
- Going forward, will Coronavirus legislation provide for party conferences to take place in Manchester
- Discussion around the Science Museum Group’s air and space hall’s closure. Promising suggestions around what might happen next.
- What support is being offered to the particular sectors where furlough is ongoing?
- The committee discussed the University of Manchester’s move to online teaching in the future
- In light of retail closures, increase in car use and the impact of that on the city’s carbon use, what’s being done to encourage people onto public transportation and what support is provided to local district centres?
The Director of City Centre Growth and Infrastructure stated that the city is still facing challenges post-covid but there are a number of measures being put in place to accelerate the city’s recovery;
The Upper and Lower Campfield Markets had gone into Manchester’s Levelling up fund bid with a view to future workspace, commercial use and retail but generally with the aim that the buildings make a positive contribution to the city;
The Director of Inclusive Economy set out that the current partnership of the job centre, business advice and growth company continue to offer support. If an employer is making more than 20 staff redundant/at risk this will be notified so a direct approach can be made to ensure workers’ protection. However, some of these issues are not very predictable e.g Hospitality sector is missing skilled workers whereas a year ago the opposite was predicted.
The University of Manchester have pulled back from the position of online learning but Higher Education institutions remain in a mixed position. MMU want in-person teaching to resume;
Both the House of Fraser and Debenhams buildings are looking at office use to repurpose the stores. Very positive but will alter the dynamic of the high street;
Face coverings agreed to be used in GM on Metrolink. Work is being done to promote public transport. The Head of Planning, Environment and Infrastructure stated that TfGM are working with major employers to enable behaviour change and travel policy work is going on with a transition back to the workplace anticipated. Highways usage has increased but public transport has a way to go yet but public transport policy settings are being accelerated.
Councillor White stated that Manchester footfall is above the national average pre-pandemic. Recovering fast and there’s something further to look into in district centres and how adaptation can take place going forward.
To note the report.