Students' contribution to Plymouth economy put at £201m
STUDENTS contribute more than £201million to Plymouth's economy, according to new research.
An estimated 36,000 city students spend an average of £184 a week, compared with a national average of £175.20, says Santander UK.
A little over half of that goes on rent. The figures do not take into account tuition fees.
Rent is the biggest portion of students' outgoings, accounting for 52 per cent. This is followed by groceries at 17 per cent; going out 9 per cent; and transport 7 per cent.
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When asked how their overall spending had changed since the previous academic year, 36 per cent of students said it had gone up, with rises in groceries, transport and rent the most commonly cited reasons for this increase.
Fewer than one in six students said that they had managed to reduce their overall expenditure since the previous academic year, although a quarter have cut their spending on going out and retail.
Students in the South West region spend the fifth highest average amount each week of all 12 UK regions and the region has the sixth highest total spend, at £911million. London students spend the most – an average of £212.70 a week.
Luis Juste, director of Santander Universities, UK said: "It's clear from the research that students play a major role, making a key contribution to the local economy."
Plymouth University, with about 25,000 students based in the city itself, forms the bulk of the student population. A 2010 study commissioned by the university itself showed that its contribution to the regional economy approached £250million.
This figure included procurement of goods and services; off-campus spending by staff and students; visitor spend; the number of students in the regional workforce and business and community interactions. The report by ERS Consultancy showed the university supported more than 4,100 jobs. Graduation week alone attracts 16,000 visitors.
Professor Julian Beer, head of research and enterprise, and pro vice-chancellor at Plymouth University, said: "Strong partnerships with industry are key to our enterprise-led approach, and this year alone we have worked with more than 4,000 businesses in a variety of ways.
"These figures provide a clear indication that this approach is providing a major boost to our economy."
Plymouth City Council estimated in 2009 that the Naval Base and Dockyard generated around £650million for the local economy. The health and social services sector contributed around £460million.
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