UK’s First Airport City Unveiled…

UK Chancellor George Osborne yesterday unveiled plans for a £659 million (US$1 billion) Airport City – the first of its kind in the UK – at Manchester Airport.

The detailed masterplan, created by Manchester Airports Group (MAG), sets out the vision to create, over the next 12-15 years, an international business hub to attract global companies that would not previously have located in the region, or even the UK.

The project, aimed at creating up to 21,000 jobs, will be split into two zones; the first of which will comprise 185,000sq metres of hotel, office, retail and manufacturing space next to Manchester Airport’s existing train station.

The second will focus on freight and logistics, and will include 140,000sq metres of warehousing to be created next to the airport’s existing cargo centre, by Junction 6 of the M56.

Bosses at MAG Developments, the group’s property arm, will submit a planning application within weeks for the scheme’s main link road, with work set to start by the spring and due for completion in 12-15 months.

Since the project received enterprise zone designation last March, there has been a huge amount of interest, with dozens of firms already in discussions with MAG about locating at Airport City.

Charlie Cornish,CEO of MAG, said: “Manchester Airport is the principal international gateway to the region and is primed for an investment of this scale.

“Our development programme will expand the world freight terminal, create new business space and attract global businesses.”

Next month, MAG will begin the search for a developer, a process which it estimates will run for six months.

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

Article taken from
Written by: David Badger
Published: 13/01/12

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