Our Pass launches today

1st July 2019

The Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham will launch Our Pass at The Bridgewater Hall this morning.

The Mayor will be joined at the launch by sponsors and supporters of Our Pass, together with young people who have helped choose the name, design the card and contributed to how they want it to work.

We’re excited to be offering Our Pass card holders free concert tickets to our 2019-20 season.*


  • Our Pass will provide 16 to 18 year-olds in Greater Manchester with free bus travel from September, alongside a wealth of sporting, cultural & leisure opportunities
  • Our Pass aims to raise aspirations of all young people in Greater Manchester, playing a vital part in creating a UK-leading skills system, as well as halting the decline in bus use in the city-region
  • Mayor thanks sponsors JD and first wave of organisations providing opportunities & calls on all sports club & cultural organisations in Greater Manchester to open their doors to young people

A new card giving Greater Manchester’s 16 to 18-year-olds the freedom to travel, work and learn has been launched.

Young people can apply online for Our Pass from today (Monday July 1) and start using the card from the beginning of September. For a one-off £10 administration fee, students and young workers will get free bus travel across Greater Manchester and lots of other benefits too.

Our Pass could save young people and their families over £500 per year in bus travel, as well as unlocking an exciting range of opportunities provided by Greater Manchester’s private and public sector. Greater Manchester is growing, with the population set to exceed 3 million by 2040. Demand for transport is going up too, but overall bus use is declining. In Greater Manchester there has been a decline of 32.1 million annual passenger journeys by bus in the last ten years. In London bus journeys have almost doubled in the same time period.

Today’s launch is a first step in breaking the cycle of decline and getting more people using buses again. Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham has set out his ten year vision for transport across Greater Manchester, including investing in the city region’s bus network.

Transport for Greater Manchester estimates 26 per cent of the city region’s 16-18 population currently use bus as their primary mode of transport. Our Pass aims to encourage more young people to use bus services to get around the city region. Whilst bus services at the moment cannot connect to every opportunity, Our Pass will transform public transport accessibility for 16-18 year old Greater Manchester residents.

The Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, said:

“I hope that Our Pass will change the lives of young people across Greater Manchester. For too long, they have been Westminster’s target for cuts and negative publicity. In Greater Manchester, we are using devolution to make young people our priority for investment.

“Our Pass is designed to send everyone growing up here a simple message: we believe in you and want you to have high ambitions for where you can go and what you can achieve. This amazing place is yours to explore, to shape and to build for the future.”

  • Young people, aged 16-18, can apply from today on the portal ourpass.co.uk
  • Greater Manchester’s JD, the international sports-fashion retail company, has confirmed a sponsorship deal for the two year pilot
  • A sample of the opportunities that will go live this September include: tickets for the Hallé, Manchester Giants netball, basketball and cheerleaders, Challenge 4 Change, Helly Hansen Watersports Centre, Oldham Boxing Club and Ambassador Theatre Group’s: The Palace and Opera House
  • Homegrown brands Park Life and Vimto are also putting the weight of their brands behind the pilot in a series of competitions across the two year pilot

Andy Burnham, will be joined today (Monday 1 July) by sponsors and supporters of Our Pass at a launch event, together with young people who have helped choose the name, design the card and contributed to how they want the card to work.

JD have confirmed a substantial sponsorship deal for the two year pilot. This includes the Bury based sports company also providing a free lanyard and wallet for Our Pass holders, in addition to offers and benefits to be announced during the pilot.

The Bridgewater Hall’s Circle Foyer will be transformed into a ‘market place of opportunity’ with Parklife and Vimto signed-up to run a series of competitions for Our Pass holders, free Saturdays with The Hallé and tickets for the Manchester Giants basketball, wheelchair basketball, netball & cheerleaders.

In addition young people will be able to find out about Our Pass opportunities with Challenge 4 Change, Helly Hansen Watersports Centre, Oldham Boxing Club and Ambassador Theatre Group’s: The Palace and Opera House. These are the first wave of rewards to be revealed by Our Pass, with a series of further announcements in the next few months.

Our Pass Lead Rose Marley said:

“Our Pass is timed to coincide with a crucial moment in young people’s lives. As they leave school at 16, they face decisions that will shape the course of their lives – whether to undertake further study and training, for example, or whether and where to get a job.

“Our Pass tackles these challenges by giving young people real freedom of travel, helping them take up further learning or work, and exposing them to the wealth of opportunities that exist in their city-region.”

Stephen White, JD Group Marketing Director, said:

“JD is proud to be partnering with the Our Pass pilot to make a significant difference to the lives of 16-18 year olds in Greater Manchester. The freedom to move, the opportunity to explore and the ability to support work and learning for this age group is vital for local employers like JD.”

Hania Sulaiman, Chair of Greater Manchester’s Youth Combined Authority, added:

“The Youth Combined Authority was asked by Andy to help come up with ideas for a new opportunity pass. Over the last few months, along with other youth groups across Greater Manchester, we’ve helped to choose the name, design and have our say on how we want the card to work for us. Today shows what can be achieved when young people are listened to and they are given the chance to develop something new. I can’t wait to start using Our Pass this September.”


* Notes:

1. Applications for Our Pass go live today on the new look website ourpass.co.uk

This includes further information on how young people can apply for their pass that they can start using from the beginning of September.

2. Your life. Your journey. Your pass: Our Pass will make getting to college, into training and into work easier – and it’ll also unlock lots of other benefits too.

Our Pass will create more chances for young people to become confident, active participants in the creative, social and working life of one of the UK’s most dynamic city-regions. At today’s launch we are revealing for the first time the types of opportunities that will be available for young people, aged 16 to 18-years-old, from this September.

Our Pass is working with TripleC to ensure that disability and access needs are considered as part of the Our Pass pilot.

3. The Our Pass card unlocks free bus travel across Greater Manchester – meaning that young people could unlock potential savings of over £500. This is based on the GMTL Young Person’s 28 day AnyBus product which is available for £47.50.

4. It is estimated more than 60,000 young people per year, aged 16-18, could benefit from Our Pass. Young people have come up with the design and name. Thousands have already engaged either on social channels, at events or by completing a survey outlining the type of future opportunities they want. Over 650 people, mainly aged 16 -18, completed the survey.

5. Our Pass supporters highlighted today include the Hallé, who will be offering Our Pass users 20 pairs of free tickets for every Hallé concert at The Bridgewater Hall in the 2019-20 Season (excluding our Christmas programme), giving our city’s young people the opportunity to experience world class musicians performing everything from Beethoven’s Fifth to David Bowie’s greatest hits. Only one person needs to be an Our Pass card holder – why not treat a member of your family? You can reserve tickets by telephone or at The Bridgewater Hall Box Office, just make sure you have your Our Pass card on hand.

Over a quarter of a million people heard the Hallé live last season, of whom more than 71,000 were inspired by the Hallé’s pioneering education programme, which exists to create a wider enjoyment and understanding of music throughout the whole community and generates around 65 projects for young people each year. The Hallé is a registered charity.

6. The Bridgewater Hall is a unique and exciting environment for conferences and events in Manchester city centre. The Hall held its first concert in September 1996. Now it hosts over 250 performances a year including classical music, rock, pop, jazz, world music and much more. The Hall is home to three resident orchestras, including Our Pass opportunity provider The Hallé.