Manchester Office Space Unveiled in ‘Airport City’
Plans for the development of a £659m ‘Airport City’ at Manchester Airport have been unveiled by Chancellor George Osborne. The scheme sees the 150-acre site offering 5 million square feet of business space, of that 1.5 million square feet is ear-marked for office space. The project will form the focal point of the Manchester Enterprise Zone, situated alongside a MediPark development at University Hospital South Manchester.
Sir Richard Leese, Leader of Manchester City Council sees the development as providing a ‘high-quality and well-connected environment for businesses that need access to a major British city and to a global marketplace.’
The plan is divided into two zones: one adjacent to the railway station, north of the M56, comprising of hotel, office, retail and advanced manufacturing space; and a second adjacent to the existing cargo centre focussing on freight and logistics. The main business area will be in the first zone and will be linked to the airport terminals and the station by wide, landscaped green bridges – the inspiration for this is drawn from New York’s Highline.
The concept of the ‘Airport City’ has been developed over a number of years by Manchester Airports Group, who are encouraged by the Government’s recognition of the potential since naming it the centre of their new Enterprise Zone.
The first stage of the development involves infrastructure and utility provision. Planning permission for the main site link road is due to be submitted in the next few weeks and it is hoped that work will start in the spring. The full project is expected to be realised over the next 12-15 years.