Planning approval for 100 million World Logistics Hub at Manchester's Airport City Enterprise Zone

23rd November 2012

An outline planning application for the development of a 100 million World Logistics Hub at Manchester’s Airport City Enterprise Zone has been approved.

Creating up to 1.4 million square feet (sqft) of new logistics space the development will generate more than 1,800 new jobs for local people over the next ten years – in addition to jobs created during the construction process.

The site is within Manchester Airport’s operational area and is located next to Junction 6 of the M56 motorway, close to the existing airport freight area. The application site totals 91.2 acres, of which around a third – 36.6 acres – is dedicated to new landscaping and natural habitats.

The outline planning application was submitted by M.A.G, the parent company of Manchester Airport, in August 2012 following extensive public consultations.

The application was approved at the Planning and Highways Committee meeting of the local authority, Manchester City Council, held on 22nd November 2012.

M.A.G’s Airport City Director, John Atkins, said: “World Logistics Hub will attract new international businesses and help existing airport businesses to expand, generating much-needed economic growth and over 1,800 new jobs. The development will create a sustainable commercial product of international significance, providing high quality logistics facilities linked to the existing airport freight area, with access to the global marketplace – along with 60% of all UK businesses and a consumer market of over 24 million within a two-hour drive time.

“We already have significant international interest in the scheme and today’s planning approval is a big step forward towards starting to deliver new employment opportunities for local people.”

The development will include a mix of medium- and small-sized logistics units ranging from approximately 7,500 to 200,000 square feet in size, designed and constructed to the highest possible BREEAM and LEED environmental standards.

Primary access to World Logistics Hub will be via and improved A538 Wilmslow Road, with junction upgrades made at Sunbank Lane. It will also benefit from the existing plans to improve Runger Lane, plus improvements to Junction 6 and the M56 itself.

The introduction of 36.6 acres of new landscape features and natural habitats, such as woodland and hedgerows, will link with the Airport’s existing landscape and habitat management area that includes public nature trails already enjoyed by walkers and many local people – extending the area to some 1,112 acres in total.

World Logistics Hub will combine with the Airport’s existing cargo facilities at the adjacent World Freight Terminal to create a world-class logistics district, providing a full range of air-to-road transfer, assembly and processing activities for freight forwarders and other logistics business; with easy access to the Airport’s apron, train station and the UK motorway network.

The existing World Freight Terminal is home to five industry-leading cargo handling companies and around 50 freight forwarding and logistics providers, as well as airline offices, sales agents and EU approved Border Inspection Post facilities – with more than 1,000 people employed on site.

World Logistics Hub will improve international trade, cut transit times and drive more efficient, sustainable supply chains. It could also potentially help to boost new future export opportunities for Greater Manchester – such as those potentially arising from the commercialisation of wonder-material Graphene and the initiative to revive Britain's textile trade in Manchester with a re-born Cottonopolis.

Manchester’s 650 million Airport City scheme, including World Logistics Hub, is the focal point of Greater Manchester’s Enterprise Zone, designated by the Government in 2011 in recognition of its potential to attract investment, create jobs and boost the economy locally, regionally and nationally. Airport City Manchester will deliver up to five million square feet of new business space over the next ten to 15 years and aims to create a highly-connected commercial location that is unique to the UK and attractive to international businesses, to compete with similar airport city projects in places like Amsterdam, Barcelona, Dusseldorf and Copenhagen.

Greater Manchester’s wider 116-hectare Enterprise Zone – which also includes MediPark at University Hospital South Manchester, Wythenshawe town centre and a series of smaller, surrounding, opportunity sites – will create up to 20,000 new jobs over the next 15-years. A new Metrolink extension through South Manchester to Airport City via Wythenshawe is currently under-construction; and alongside the Airport’s existing public transport links will ensure that jobs created at the World Logistics Hub and across the wider Enterprise Zone are highly accessible.


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Published on: 23/11/2012 09:00:00