The Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, has unveiled plans for the development of a £659million ‘Airport City’ – the first of its kind in the UK– at Manchester Airport. The site is expected to deliver 1.4 million sq ft of logistics and warehousing.
The detailed ‘stage two’ Masterplan for Airport City, unveiled, identifies the creation of two core Airport City zones. The first is a development area 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 – whilst 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 100,000 sq ft of retail and leisure;
- Approximately 2,500 hotel beds;
- 1.4m sq ft logistics & warehousing.
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 first phase delivery area is anticipated to create up to 1.85 million square feet of new business space. An ‘Expression of Interest Document’ detailing the Airport City opportunity will be officially released through an open competitive process in February 2012, as Manchester Airports Group seeks to engage potential development partners to assist in the delivery of the project.
The University Hospital of South Manchester (UHSM), a world-class research hospital and centre of clinical excellence, is also at the centre of a number of initiatives that can take advantage of sites for the creation of a medical and related services complex within the Enterprise Zone, building on its academic support by the University of Manchester. The successful development of the Airport City and Medi Park concepts will greatly expand the current local role of Wythenshawe town centre as it supports and takes advantage of the economic energy generated by these two core initiatives, buoyed by the additional connectivity created by the new Metrolink line.