The world’s population is ageing rapidly. According to United Nations and World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates over 11% of the world population is over 60, and that is expected to double to 22% by 2050. In the UK, the trend is even more pronounced. Estimates suggest that by the early 2030s half of the UK adult population will be over 50, and by 2037 the over 80s group will have expanded to six million.
Within Greater Manchester (GM) by 2028, the number of over 65s is expected to increase by 44%, and over 85s by 81%. Ageing has been identified as one the major drivers of future change for GM. There is huge potential to be unlocked from an ageing population, as well as a need to better understand what works financially to keep people healthy and active for longer.
The GM Combined Authority and AGMA Executive Board agreed to establish a GM Ageing Hub, to bring together expertise and activity in this field, embed ageing as a priority within GM policy and to forge new strategic collaborations. The GM Strategy recognises the challenges we will face as the population ages – yet it will be increasingly important to recognise and address the opportunities as well. The Ageing Hub will influence the continued development of the Health and Social Care devolution wider reform in GM and will contribute to the achievement of GMS objectives. The Hub will ensure ageing is appropriately incorporated in all appropriate GM implementation plans.
To inform our understanding of the economic potential presented to Greater Manchester of an ageing demographic, Business Lab were commissioned to undertake an in-depth study into the economic opportunities of ageing. Some exciting opportunity areas were found such as Age-friendly design; skin health and wearable technologies. The findings from the report will be considered and taken forward as appropriate through the Hub structures. The Business Lab report can be downloaded from this page.
Greater Manchester is in a unique position to capitalise on the opportunities presented by an ageing population, with unmatched opportunities such as the academic research excellence; Manchester’s existing Age-friendly city status, and the budgets, freedoms and flexibilities awarded to the city-region through devolution deals with Government.
A steering group has been created, which brings together existing specialist knowledge and expertise, this group has shaped the Hub to date. The steering group membership will be reviewed and expanded, to ensure all appropriate partner agencies are represented from April. The existing steering group comprises:
- New Economy
- Manchester Institute for Collaborative Research on Ageing (MICRA)
- Public Health England
- GM PSR Team
- Age-friendly Manchester (Manchester City Council)