MANCHESTER Airport City Enterprise Zone is set to almost double in size – creating thousands of new job opportunities.
‘The best-connected business district in the world’ – a string of linked sites focused around Manchester Airport, Wythenshawe Centre and University Hospital South Manchester Foundation Trust – will grow from 116 acres to 171 acres.
The news – announced in the Government’s Budget 2015 – has been welcomed by the leader of Manchester City Council, Sir Richard Leese.
“The Enterprise Zone is already proving a success in attracting new national and international investment in some key growth industries,” he said.
“Manchester Airport and Airport City are vital economic anchors for Greater Manchester – as is the University Hospital of South Manchester and Medipark.
‘This expansion of the Enterprise Zone will support our wider growth strategy by helping attract further investment and supporting up to 3,000 new jobs.”
Divisional chief executive officer at Manchester Airports Group (M.A.G), Lynda Shillaw, said: “We welcome this announcement at a time when the £800m Airport City Manchester development is really beginning to gain momentum.
‘This extension will further reinforce the breadth of our offer, which will help attract many more companies – and, in turn, jobs.
‘Recently, we have announced speculative schemes at both Airport City’s Global Logistics site and within the Central Business District – reflecting the high level of current occupier demand.
‘In addition, DHL has opened a major 37,400 square-foot, state-of-the-art facility – serving the wider region – and planning permission has been granted for a 350-bed hotel.
‘Over the next 10 years, Airport City Manchester will deliver five million square feet of office, logistics, hotel, retail and advanced manufacturing space and aims to provide 16,000 employment opportunities.”
New life will also be breathed into the closed airport in Blackpool, which is earmarked to earn Enterprise Zone status in January 2016.