Chancellor marks the start on site at Airport City in Manchester

29th May 2013

The Chancellor, George Osborne, has launched the official start on site of the Airport City project at Manchester Airport. Joined by Karen Campbell, the Airport City Director for Manchester Airports Group (MAG) and Chairman Mike Davies, the Member of Parliament for Tatton broke the ground as work officially commenced on Greater Manchester’s Enterprise Zone project.

George Osborne, the MP for Tatton, said: “We’re excited about the prospect of Airport City, and pleased that the Enterprise Zone status has allowed it to move forward at a quicker pace. Manchester Airport is already an economic growth area and we look forward to seeing the first buildings and companies announced. This is a long term project for the North West and I’m pleased to see so many partners working together to make it a success.”

It will be one of the best connected employment sites in the region – with easy access to the passenger terminals and the transport interchange within easy reach. Metrolink will serve the Airport City site directly with the airport line open by 2016 and the platform is due to be completed this year. The Metrolink extension will ensure residents from across Greater Manchester can access employment opportunities at Airport City. While businesses located at the site will also have access to over 200 destinations available from Manchester Airport.

Karen Campbell, Airport City Director, said: “Today is a significant moment in the timeline of the project. We have outline planning permission for the site and aim to announce the first deals for Airport City within weeks. Airport City creates a great opportunity not just for the North but for the whole of the UK and many companies are interested in being based at a site of this scale.”

It’s the first Airport City in the UK, it will compete with existing airport city and ‘aerotropolis’ projects such as Amsterdam, Frankfurt and Copenhagen – attracting global businesses to the North West, creating a hub for multi-national businesses that require access to a major city and international markets, to move people and goods across the world. Airport City will be the focal point of the Enterprise Zone for Greater Manchester, which surrounds the UK’s third busiest airport, and includes areas around University Hospital South Manchester (UHSM) and Wythenshawe; one of the UK’s most socially economically deprived areas.

Designated as one of the UK Government’s new Enterprise Zones in March 2012, the Airport City project has already received a substantial amount of interest and came from a detailed masterplan created by Manchester Airports Group (MAG) that set out a vision to transform Manchester Airport from a transport hub into an international business destination in its own right.

Building on the global connectivity offered by the airport location, the 150-acre regeneration scheme will deliver over five-million square feet of new high-quality business premises, with the aim of attracting international companies that would not previously have located in the region, or even the UK.

The benefits have been operational from April 2012, and it is estimated that the wider 116-hectare Manchester Enterprise Zone will create over 20,000 new jobs over the next 15-years.

With the scheme to extend Metrolink to Manchester Airport, TfGM is currently building the road access to Airport City. Peter Cushing, TfGM’s Metrolink Director, also joined the launch event and said: “We’re delighted to be working in partnership to provide excellent transport links to Manchester Airport as this major expansion gets underway. Our new 24-hour door-to-door bus service is already helping workers get to the airport and when the new Metrolink extension via Wythenshawe opens it will provide convenient transport links from all over Greater Manchester.”


For more information, contact the Airport City press office on 0161 489 2700 or via email at

Published on: 29/05/2013 09:27:09