RNCM boosts UK economy by £200m a year, says report

The RNCM contributes more than £200 million per year to the UK economy and attracts £42 million of spend into Greater Manchester alone, according to an independent report. 

The Alliance Manchester Business School of the University of Manchester (AMBS) examined the financial contribution of the conservatoire to the country’s coffers during the 2022-2023 fiscal year and concluded that the RNCM returns £30.33 for every £1 of grant money that the taxpayer contributes to the College. 

The figures show a Gross Value Added (GVA) contribution worth an estimated £202,880,000, with almost 21 percent of that figure spent locally. The report analysed the RNCM’s direct, indirect, and induced economic impact through expenditure on key services, including employment, goods and services, the supply chain, student and visitor spend, and tourism.  

The College was awarded £6.69 million in funding body grants in the same year and offered to the taxpayer a thirtyfold return on every £1 of grant it received, according to the report’s authors Chelsea Li, Annisa Maya Gantia, Moiz Attarwala, Vanessa Farfan Zuniga, and Robert Tunque Saavedra. The authors, who are all students at AMBS and each have an average of five years’ industry experience, undertook the real-world consultancy project as part of their full-time MBA programme.   

Speaking about the report, Principal Linda Merrick CBE said: ‘We are proud to be one of the world’s leading and most progressive conservatoires, attracting some of the most talented, creative, and ambitious young musicians to Manchester to study and establish their careers. 

‘This report is important, as it draws attention to the financial contribution we make to the UK economy as we support the next generation of innovative performers and composers who will sustain and enrich the vibrant cultural life of our city and region.’ 

The figures are encouraging in light of the Economy 2030 Inquiry which identified higher education (HE) as a critical contributor to Levelling Up ambitions, allowing the region to address economic disparities and narrow the productivity gap between Manchester and London.  

A 2023 London Economics report on the impact of the HE sector on the UK economy estimated the GVA of eight leading HE providers in Greater Manchester to be £3.1 billion in 2021-2022, with 33,200 people employed in the sector across the region. 

The RNCM was recently ranked number five for music education in the annual QS World University Rankings, sharing the position with New York’s prestigious Juilliard School. The conservatoire also broke into the top 10 for Performing Arts – ranking number eight in the world between The Juilliard School and New York University and rising from number 30 in 2023. Over 1,500 institutions across 104 locations are included in the QS WUR, which is the only ranking of its kind to emphasise employability and sustainability.  

8 May 2024