Living in Manchester As a Young Professional – 4 Things You Need To Know

When you’re starting out in your career, where you decide to live and work can have a big impact on the direction your career takes, as well as your general quality of life.

With a large student population and commercial investment attracting young creative and business talent, Manchester is widely recognised as one of the cities with the highest population of young people in the UK. 

In fact, the Office for National Statistics found that the number of young people living in Manchester had increased by 26% from 2002 to 2017, and there are no signs of that trend slowing down.

There are many factors that contribute to this phenomenon – lower pollution levels, access to parks, top restaurants, job opportunities, lower cost of living – you name it, Manchester has got it.

So why is living in Manchester as a young professional such an attractive prospect? Let’s take a closer look.

Endless job opportunities

One of the top priorities for anyone coming to Manchester as a young professional is, of course, finding a job and building a thriving career. 

The good news is that Manchester is one of the best, if not the best city in the UK to find job opportunities. At any one time, it has around 12,000 live job listings available, many of which are flexible or hybrid working options.

There’s a multitude of flexible and co-working spaces in the city which has attracted the interest of new businesses and independent start-ups that are looking to gain a foothold in new locations.

What’s more, regeneration projects and business investment in the city and neighbouring Salford in recent decades have led to big brand names such as the BBC, Kelloggs and ITV setting up camp in the region.

Starting a career has never been easier, and there’s a real vibrant, exciting atmosphere as you never know which life-changing contact you’re going to meet at any given moment.

A buzzing hive of activity

It’s not for nothing that the symbol of Manchester is the worker bee. The bee came to represent the city’s pivotal role in the Industrial Revolution of the nineteenth century, but in recent years it’s also come to symbolise the buzz of the city.

In Manchester, you’ll never tire of things to see and do. The city has a legendary music and nightlife scene, and there are multiple shopping and leisure hubs to enjoy.

Not only that, there are theatres, cinemas, endless options for restaurants and bars, as well as cultural attractions and events.

Living in Manchester as a young professional shouldn’t be all work and no play. Those moments of disconnect after a long day behind the desk are crucial to maintaining a healthy work-life balance and making the most of your time in this Northern Powerhouse city.

More affordable than London

One of the main reasons why living in Manchester as a young professional is so attractive to many is that while Manchester offers many of the benefits of London life, the cost of living is so much lower in the north.

Manchester offers similar business prospects, cultural and leisure attractions, but the price of rent is much lower in Manchester.

In recent years, many young people have chosen to leave London and move to Manchester precisely because life is more affordable in the north.

According to, the average London gym membership costs around £42.24, compared to £26.35 in Manchester. A monthly travel pass in London costs around £150 compared to £69.78 in Manchester. 

In Manchester, the average monthly rent in the city centre costs around £786.67, while in London you could expect to pay double the price at £1,756. 

Having taken all this into consideration, it’s easy to see why Manchester is the smart option for young professionals that want to get ahead financially as well as career-wise.

Great living locations

Manchester and nearby Salford have undergone a period of renovation in the last few decades. This regeneration has led to a surge in demand for city-centre or Salford Quays based property, which in turn has attracted attention from savvy buy-to-let investors. 

There are plenty of options when it comes to living in Manchester as a young professional, but if you want to know about specific areas here’s a rundown of some of the most desirable living locations in Manchester.

  • Ancoats

Up there with the most popular options for living in Manchester as a young professional, is Ancoats. It’s located close to the trendy Northern Quarter, and also benefits from slightly lower housing prices than in other similar parts of the city.

Ancoats was once the beating heart of the Industrial Revolution, which is reflected in the architecture – many of the modern apartment buildings are actually renovated factories, mills and warehouses situated close to once-bustling canal routes.

The cobblestone-lined streets are lined with independent restaurants, bars and pop-ups, with alfresco dining being popular in this area, as well as well-known venues like Rudy’s and Elnecot’s on Cutting Room Square.

  • Northern Quarter

The Northern Quarter is the creative hub of the centre, frequented by many young creatives who come to take advantage of the nightlife, food, fashion, and music in the area. 

It’s a fantastic place to put down roots if you’re living in Manchester as a young professional. 

Don’t be surprised if you see film crews out and about filming movies in the Northern Quarter – the area often doubles up as New York or Edwardian Britain in TV series and films, thanks to its cool architecture, funky street art and graffiti, and cool ambience.

  • Didsbury

This part of Manchester city is well-known among students and young professionals alike.

There are plenty of young people around, and as a result, Didsbury enjoys a vibrant nightlife scene, excellent restaurants, live music, concerts, and plenty of jobs on offer.

There’s a pleasant community feel here, and you can easily access Manchester City Center via bus routes and regular train services.

  • Salford

Technically considered to be a city in its own right, Salford is situated on an almost imperceptible border with Manchester.

The biggest draw for young professionals in Salford is MediaCity, which is located on Salford Quays. The area underwent intensive regeneration at the beginning of this century, and is now home to some exciting big British institutions like the BBC, ITV, and Kelloggs.

With such promising career prospects, impressive leisure opportunities, not to mention stunning greenery and affordable housing, is it any wonder that Salford has become a prime location for young professionals in the north of England?

  • Rusholme

Rusholme is full of job openings, particularly with software companies, but is also famous for being home to some of the best restaurants in the city, as well as some of the nicest people.

The area is popular with university students, graduates, and young professionals, thanks to its prime location close to the city centre. It’s easy to reach the centre of the action on foot or by catching one of the buses on Europe’s busiest bus route.

Perhaps the most attractive thing about this area is that you can enjoy all the benefits of city life without having to pay a premium – the affordability of the area makes it desirable for young professionals.

  • Castlefield

Many young professionals moving to Manchester opt to live in Castlefield.

This historic area enjoys stunning, tranquil canalside views, all close to the city centre. There are traces of Castlefield’s Roman past in the form of ruins close to Castlefield Bowl, where concerts and events are regularly held.

The industrial legacy of Manchester is evident everywhere, in the canals, cobbled streets, and Victorian mills.

Castlefield offers the perfect combination of proximity to the city centre and quieter canalside life. Think lazy sunny afternoons strolling by the canals and chilled pints at the water’s side, and you’ve got the vibe of Castlefield.

As you can see, living in Manchester as a young professional has many upsides. If you feel the pull towards Manchester living, get in touch with us at New Cross Central today.