Manchester Airport selected as “Enterprise Zone”

Manchester Airport has been confirmed as the location within Greater Manchester of one of the Government’s 21 UK “Enterprise Zones”, as announced by the Chancellor of the Exchequer in the March 2011 Budget.

The emphasis of the designated Enterprise Zones will be on offering incentives to businesses to locate and expand in these targeted areas – including reduced business tax rates within the zones and prioritised super-fast broadband, all as part of plans to grow local economies and jobs by removing barriers for new companies.

In Greater Manchester, the Enterprise Zone will centre on the development of an ‘Airport City’ project, which will be a high quality, mixed-use commercial community that makes full use of its location at a major transport interchange with access to rail, Metrolink, bus and road networks as well as national and international air travel.

Charlie Cornish, Chief Executive of Manchester Airports Group (MAG), said: “Manchester Airport is the principal international gateway to the region and is primed for an investment of this scale, amassing over sixty acres. Our development programme will expand the world freight terminal, create new business space, attract global businesses and provide health related uses. It will build upon the proximity of Wythenshawe Hospital as an international centre of excellence, science, research and advanced manufacturing.“

Sir Richard Leese of Manchester City Council said: "Airport City has a major opportunity to create a commercial product of global significance and under the leadership of Manchester Airport we look forward to working with the fullest range of stakeholders to ensure details are developed following consultation as soon as possible. The selection of Airport City followed independent assessment of where the greatest benefit for the Greater Manchester economy would be delivered. We have the potential to create over 7,000 jobs as a result of successful development, and our approach to capturing tax revenues is designed to ensure their re-investment throughout Greater Manchester, including infrastructure. We recognise that Greater Manchester is a single labour market and that we must deliver a single economic strategy and our new governance arrangements which are due to become operational on the 1st April will be crucial to helping local authorities and our LEP to deliver this."

John Atkins, Managing Director of the airport’s commercial property business, MAG Developments, said: “Airport City will provide the Manchester region with a true international offer and will transform the airport from a transport hub into a business destination. Enterprise Zone status helps attract new investment and brings trade into the country. It is a significant step for the project and one we are extremely pleased to announce. We will try to ensure that the jobs created have local benefits so we can play a part in the regeneration of communities like Wythenshawe.”

Mike Blackburn on behalf of the Shadow Local Enterprise Partnership said: "I welcome the announcement which is an encouraging response to the need to drive the maximum growth in Greater Manchester. There is of course a lot of details to be fully worked through but under the guidance of Manchester Airport and in close consultation with the fullest range of stakeholders this will be major priority for the LEP when it is formally established next month."

Publication of the planning framework for public consultation is due imminently, with the first phase of the ‘Airport City’ development potentially commencing early next year.



For more information please contact the Manchester Airports Group (MAG) press office on 0161 489 2700 or

Published on: 25/03/2011 09:00:00