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£659m 'Airport City' planned for Manchester

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Chancellor George Osborne has announced plans for the establishment of the UK's first 'Airport City', a £659m mixed-use development to be located at Manchester Airport.

Manchester Airports Group (MAG) is behind the proposals for the scheme, which comes after the UK government confirmed the area as a new Enterprise Zone in March 2011.

The 150-acre (60.7-hectare) development is centred on Manchester Airport's international links and will feature 2,500 hotel beds and 100,000 sq ft (9,290sq m) of retail and leisure.

A two-stage masterplan will see two core Airport City zones developed, the first adjacent to the airport's railway station and including hotel, office and retail uses among others.

The second zone will be located next to the existing cargo centre and will focus on logistics and freight. The development is expected to be undertaken over a 12- to 15-year period.

A Central Park stretching more than 800m (2,625ft) will act as the centrepiece to the project and include pavilions and event space, while linking with existing local green spaces.

Preparations are now underway to commence the first stage delivery of the project, which is to include key road elements, landscaping and infrastructure, as well as utility provision.

MAG chief executive Charlie Cornish said: "Airport City is a concept we have been developing for a number of years and we are now at a critical stage in the project's life as we bring it to the market and commence phase one.

"We feel that this project presents a generational opportunity not only for the wider region, but nationally in order to attract new investment to the UK during the economic downturn."

Manchester City Council leader Sir Richard Leese added: "Airport City will fill the gap in the market that currently exists for a high quality and well-connected environment for businesses that need access to a major British city and to a global marketplace."

Details:

Chancellor George Osborne has announced plans for the establishment of the UK's first 'Airport City', a £659m mixed-use development to be located at Manchester Airport.
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