Airport City Manchester

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Airport City Manchester
General information
Status Under construction
Type Logistics, Manufacturing, Office, Hotel, Leisure
Location Manchester Airport, Manchester, England
Construction started 2012
Estimated completion 12-15 year redevelopment project
Cost £800M
Owner Manchester Airports Group
Design and construction
Architect 5plus Architects
Developer MAG Developments, BCEG & Argent

Airport City Manchester is a £800 million expansion of Manchester Airport currently under construction.[1] The plan will follow an airport city model with the aim of stimulating the Greater Manchester economy by creating on-site logistics, manufacturing, office and leisure facilities. Manchester Airport will become the first airport in the United Kingdom to build an airport city.

Manchester Airport is the third busiest airport in the United Kingdom after Heathrow and Gatwick, and is the international gateway for northern England. The site was announced as an enterprise zone in March 2011. In October 2013, it was announced Beijing Construction Engineering Group would invest £800 million into the project - becoming one of the largest single investments in Britain from China. It will be one of the largest property development schemes in Greater Manchester alongside MediaCity and NOMA as well as in the United Kingdom.

Chinese President Xi Jinping, alongside David Cameron, visited the Airport City development in October 2015 as part of his state visit to the United Kingdom.[2]

The project has been undergoing for four years so far, and is supposedly due to be completed by the mid- to late-2020s.[citation needed]


Airport City Manchester will follow the airport city model, that has been implemented at other such as Barcelona and Frankfurt. Two main zones will house the new developments. The first will be adjacent to the airport railway station, and north of the M56 motorway. The site here will mainly consist of hotel, office, and manufacturing facilities. The second core site will be situated nearby the existing cargo centre near junction 6 of the M56.[3]


Manchester Airport is the third busiest airport in the United Kingdom, and is overall the busiest outside the London region and has over double the number of passengers of its nearest non-London rival. It is predicted Manchester Airport will double its 18 million passengers in 2011 to 36 million by 2030.[4] Unlike London Heathrow and Gatwick Airport, vacant land exists around Manchester Airport for expansion. Both Heathrow and Gatwick have encountered opposition in their wish to expand, particularly over a third runway at Heathrow. In March 2011, the site was selected as an enterprise zone, offering lower business rates to attract investment in the area. Chancellor George Osborne described the zone as one of the best developed and most advanced of any of the 24 enterprise zones which were announced in 2011.[5] The site plan and design will be led by Manchester-based architects, 5plus Architects.[6] Construction will be undertaken by a joint venture of Carillion and Beijing Construction Engineering Group.[7] It is scheduled to open in 2016.[3]


The development will be linked to the national rail network and M56 motorway. A new Metrolink line between Manchester Airport and the city centre opened in late 2014. A dedicated HS2 station will be built adjacent to the development in 2032.[citation needed]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Pidd, Helen. "Manchester Metrolink line opens more than a year ahead of schedule". The Guardian Newspaper. Retrieved 25 June 2015. 
  2. ^ "Manchester to Beijing flight service will give region £250m boost". Manchester Evening News. Retrieved 10 November 2015. 
  3. ^ a b "Work to start on £695m Manchester "Airport City"". 12 January 2012. Retrieved 2012-03-15. 
  4. ^ "Airport City". Manchester Airport Group Developments. Retrieved 2012-03-12. 
  5. ^ "George Osborne reveals Manchester 'Airport City' plans". BBC News. 12 January 2012. Retrieved 2012-03-13. 
  6. ^ "Airport City". 5plus Architects. Retrieved 2012-03-13. 
  7. ^ "£800m Chinese investment for Manchester's 'Airport City' as UK visa rules are relaxed". Daily Mail. 14 October 2013. Retrieved 18 October 2013. 

External links[edit]