results of a major survey into Coventry Universitys impact on the local economy have
just been released by the Universitys Centre for Local Economic Development (CLED).
The figures illustrate vividly the importance of the Citys University to its
- in 1996/97 the Universitys presence in the City added between £97 and £106
million to local economic output - the equivalent of between 1.5 % and 1.6% of local gross
domestic product (GDP)
- the University added between £55 million and £60 million to local disposable income
- with 1,859 employees, the University ranks as the ninth largest employer in Coventry
- in 1996/97 up to 600 additional jobs in Coventry and Warwickshire were dependent upon
the Universitys presence in the local economy.
CLEDs analysis excludes expenditure on the Universitys major construction
projects because of the variability of this expenditure from year to year. In a year when
major construction work is underway, such as currently with the building of the
Universitys new £16 million library, the impact is even more significant.
It is through staff wages that Coventry University makes the greatest contribution to
the local economy. 94% of non-teaching staff and 70% of teaching and teaching-related
staff live in Coventry and Warwickshire, spending around £12 million (49%) of their
disposable income locally.
The second main route through which the Universitys expenditure benefits the
local economy is by the purchase of goods and services by the University and the
Students Union. In 1996/97 these purchases amounted to £24 million, of which some
28% were purchases from local businesses.
Last but by no means least, the spending power of its students is the third way in
which the University contributes to the local economy, with 83.5% of their outgoings spent
The survey calculated this in two ways. The first calculation excluded students
normally resident in Coventry and Warwickshire, the argument being that their expenditure
does not represent additional income for the area. Using this criteria, it was estimated
that full-time students spent a total of £32 million during term time.
In the second calculation, local students were included as, but for the presence of the
University, they may have left the local economy to study elsewhere. This produced the
equivalent figure of £41 million. Using the figure of 83.5% of outgoings spent locally
this produces figures of £27 million and £34 million respectively, flowing into the
local economy as a direct result of student expenditure.
In addition to the direct expenditure and jobs created by the University, the report
points out the University also has an excellent record of bringing otherwise derelict land
and buildings back into economic use. Examples include the 20-acre Technology Park
development on the former Rolls-Royce Parkside site; Singer Hall student village; the Alma
Building on Alma Street; and the William Morris Building on Gosford Street.