This market town in Cheshire has a population of just over 50,000. Like many areas in Cheshire, it is considered a relatively affluent town. It was once the world’s biggest producer of finished silk, but other industries now form the economy of the town. It lies 20 miles south of Manchester and 40 miles east of Liverpool, with good road links to both cities. The nearest motorway to the town is the M6, which links it to Liverpool via the M62, and the A523 connects it Manchester. The train station is on the West Coast Mail Line, with frequent services to Manchester Piccadilly, just a 25 minute journey, as well as Stoke and London.
The town is home to quirky independent shops such as the Arabella, and Covet designer boutiques as well as high street favourites in the Grosvenor Shopping Centre. The University Centre Macclesfield offers a range of foundation degrees, and the college itself offers a wide range of vocational courses.
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Despite it not being a particularly large town, tourism still plays a big part in the economy. This is due to its rich history in the silk industry. This is a major part of the history of the town, with the football team nicknamed ‘The Silkmen’ and various streets and venues named after silk. Four silk museums boost the local economy and attract visitors to the town. You can enter the tourism industry direct from school but more and more employers are looking for academic qualifications in the subject from university or college. Good people and communication skills are essential.
AstraZeneca is a multinational pharmaceutical and biologics company, and one of the biggest employers in the area. The company has two facilities, one dedicated to research and development at Alderley Park and the other dedicated to large-scale production in the town itself. AstraZeneca invested around £77m in new projects in the area recently, making it an important part of the local economy. Over 2500 people work at the facility, with roles available at a variety of levels. The company employs some of the world's most skilled and experienced medical professionals but they are also looking for people with manufacturing, IT and finance skills.