Work to start on £695m Manchester “Airport City”

| Thu 12th January | 22:14

Chancellor George Osborne has unveiled plans for the development of a £659m ‘Airport City’ at Manchester Airport.

Initial infrastructure work on new roads could start as early as this Spring at the site designated as one of the Government’s new Enterprise Zones last March

Manchester Airports Group want to transform the 150-acre site to provide five-million square feet of new business space.

The Airport City project will be the focal point of the Manchester Enterprise Zone alongside a MediPark development at University Hospital South Manchester and Wythenshawe town centre.

Sir Richard Leese, Leader of Manchester City Council, said: “Airport City will fill the gap in the market that currently exists for a high quality and well-connected environment for businesses that need access to a major British city and to a global marketplace.

“Airport City will provide an innovative and complementary offer to Greater Manchester’s existing assets, rather than competing against them, adding new capacity to the city’s existing dynamic economy.

“Manchester is well placed with an international offer based on established academic research and technology, innovative businesses, communications and transport infrastructure.”

The detailed Masterplan for Airport City identifies the creation of two core Airport City zones.

The first is adjacent to the airport’s existing railway station and to north of the M56, which will focus on hotel, office, retail and advanced manufacturing uses.

A second area adjacent to the existing cargo centre at Junction 6 of the M56, will focus on freight and logistics uses.

In total, over the next 12-15 years, Airport City will deliver:

  • 1.5 million sqft of offices
  • 650,000 sq ft advanced manufacturing
  • Up to 100,000sqft of retail and leisure
  • Approximately 2,500 hotel beds
  • 1.4 million sq ft logistics & warehousing

The main central business district of Airport City to the north of the M56 will be linked to the airport terminals and The Station by a series of wide, landscaped ‘green bridges’ based on New York’s elevated urban park, the Highline.

A new Metrolink line to the airport and Wythenshawe is now under-construction and will also serve Airport City when it opens 2016.

Charlie Cornish, Chief Executive of Manchester Airports Group, said: “Airport City is a concept we have been developing for a number of years and we are now at a critical stage in the project’s life as we bring it to the market and commence phase one.

“We were enthused by the Government’s recognition of Airport City’s potential when it was named as the focal point of their new Enterprise Zone, as we feel that this project presents a generational opportunity not only for the wider region, but nationally in order to attract new investment to the UK during the economic downturn.”

The first stage delivery of the project will involve the creation of key road elements, landscaping, infrastructure and utility provision.

Planning permission for the main site link road is due to be submitted within the next few weeks and upon approval could see work start in spring, with completion within 12-15months.

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The scheme will attract new businesses to Manchester

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