Airport City to commence at Manchester Airport in 2012

Posted: 6 April 2011 | Manchester Airport | No comments yet

The UK Government have announced that Manchester Airport would be one of the first four Enterprise Zones, with Airport City at the core of the zone…

Following the Chancellor’s introduction of 21 new Enterprise zones to stimulate economic growth and employment, the Government announced that Manchester Airport would be one of the first four Enterprise Zones, with Airport City at the core of the zone.

Airport CityThe Airport City location is one of only a few to be confirmed and following today’s agreement from the Council Executive, the Manchester Airports Group (MAG) will be working alongside other stakeholders and local authorities to bring forward proposals for a definitive boundary and the required governance arrangements for the zone as soon as possible. Now that the core proposition has been endorsed, phase 1 of the development will now go out for public consultation.

Charlie Cornish, Chief Executive of the Manchester Airports Group, welcomed the news saying: “This announcement represents a significant achievement for the Greater Manchester region and an exciting opportunity to move forward with the Airport City proposal so that we can realise the potential for creating over 7,000 jobs, while seeing additional revenues re-invested throughout Greater Manchester. In partnership with our key stakeholders, we will be progressing the project straight away and looking to build on this opportunity for the region.”

MAG Developments, the property development arm of the Group, has been working on the masterplan for the site and was endorsed for consultation today (6th April) by the Manchester City Council Executive. Urban Strategies, Drivers Jonas Deloitte and Jones Lang Lasalle have assisted on the preparation of the masterplan.

John Atkins, Managing Director of MAG Developments, said: “ We welcome the agreement of the Council Executive as it allows us to prepare for a start on site early in 2012. The designation of the Airport City as an Enterprise Zone last week underlined the importance of making quick progress on the site and will allow us to move ahead with the development and infrastructure framework.”

Airport City is a concept, the first phase of which is located on land between the airport and Wythenshawe, to the north of the airport. It will connect the initial development close to the airport with a wider set of opportunities within Wythenshawe including the University Hospital of South Manchester’s (UHSM) Medipark initiative and the regeneration of the Town Centre.

Sir Richard Leese, Leader of Manchester City Council, said: “Airport City will see the creation of thousands of jobs which will be critical to ensure the city’s success as we emerge from the economic downturn. It also provides us with a unique opportunity to significantly accelerate Manchester’s economic growth and realise our ambitions for the airport as a global business destination. As we move into a consultation process, we welcome comments on this important development.”

While Airport City will be a uniquely different proposition, it will aim to build upon the global connectivity of the airport and create a project to compete with other locations in Barcelona, Amsterdam and Dusseldorf. Airport cities require infrastructure capacity and an ability to grow the network of direct air routes; first class ground transportation and associated developable land assets to support the new function. All of these are available at Manchester Airport.

Businesses that are expected to want to locate at Airport City will include logistics, freight forwarders, advanced manufacturers, those seeking high quality office accommodation, research and development, health related uses to build on the proximity to Wythenshawe Hospital as a centre of excellence, visitor accommodation, hotels and leisure uses to support the delivery of Airport City.

As announced during the Budget, the Enterprise Zones are expected to benefit from a business rate discount worth up to £275,000 per eligible business over a five year period, while all business rate growth within the zone for a period of at least 25 years will be shared and retained by the local area, to ensure that Enterprise Zone growth is reinvested locally.

It is anticipated that detailed planning applications will be ready to be submitted, subject to the public consultation, by the end of 2011 and work on the first phase of Airport City will begin in 2012.

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