pro-manchester COVID-19 CEO update

Tuesday, 7th April 2020

As we enter into week 3 of lockdown the consistent message over the past week is loud and clear. Stay Home. Save Lives. Never more could the importance of this message be more stark with the saddening increase in the number of deaths caused by this virus and last night’s reports that our Prime Minister has been admitted into intensive care. Our thoughts are with him and all affected. We wish everyone a safe and swift recovery.

In unprecedented times like these it is only natural to look to other countries ahead of the UK to try and understand the course of this pandemic. I read an interesting article last week that focused on mental health, wellbeing and behavourial patterns drawing down from experiences in Asia.  The experience there was that morale was initially good, people were energised by the novelty factor but that energy diminished after a couple of weeks and more and more issues such anxiety and depression started to emerge. Considering this, I was pleased to see this week that Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham and Sir Richard Leese announced the launch of a range of new mental health services for people affected by social restrictions. Please click here for more information.

The Growth Company has also responded and last week they launched the #hereforbusiness campaign offering extended call centre hours and support services for businesses across GM. Please visit the website or call the Hub on 0161 359 3050 for more support and guidance.

Some wonderful things have been happening in our city and I am extremely proud of the way the Manchester people, businesses and communities continue to rally and support each other. It would be impossible to mention them all but as a Forever Manchester trustee it would be remiss of me not to mention the This Is The Place fundraising appeal and the work that the charity are doing in partnership with the National Emergency Trust to support communities in Greater Manchester affected by COVID-19. Please click on the link above for more information on how to donate and here for more information on the community support fund.

Just in case you’ve missed it, in recognition of our frontline heroes Manchester will continue to shine the light on our NHS with the ongoing #LightitBlueMCR campaign. Marketing Manchester launched the #MCRmissesyou campaign, offering virtual tours of Manchester’s favourite arts and cultural hotspots from the comfort of your own home and in a further bid to support our restaurants, bars and venues, the GM night economy advisor supported by GM Mayor Andy Burnham launched #unitedwestream. A UK first.  Every night live bands, DJ’s singers and performers will stream live from 7pm. Stay at home, donate and tune in.

And so onto pro-manchester. The team and I continue to work hard to provide the best support, advice and value to our members. We now have a range of activity and insightful webinars available. Please visit our events page here for more information.

Last week we delivered our second COVID-19 update in partnership with Grayling Communications. If you missed it you can view it on our You Tube channel here. This week Chris Peacock will be talking to Sue Hayman, former shadow Secretary of State for DEFRA. To tune in please go to

Also in a bid to keep you better connected, especially those who have been furloughed, yesterday we launched our Furlough Forum on linked in. Please do sign up and feel free share support, advice and initiatives.

This is certainly not it from us. We have a lot more exciting new things in the pipeline for you so do stay with us, watch this space and keep in touch.

Stay home, stay safe and look after yourselves.