As one of the key drivers of regional growth, Manchester Airport is ideally placed as the location for the UK’s first airport city. The airport city model recognises that an airport has potential outside of its traditional operational services, and seeks to evolve new nonaeronautical commercial facilities, services and revenue streams. The airport location therefore becomes a destination in its own right.
The £1bn Airport City Manchester aims to stimulate the Greater Manchester economy by creating a vibrant economic hub with 5m sq ft of logistics, manufacturing, office, retail and hospitality/leisure facilities.
This was one of the first organisations to sign up as a member of the Northern Powerhouse Partnership Programme, and the first major UK infrastructure project to attract Chinese equity investment.
The development is spearheaded by a joint venture company comprising Manchester Airport Group (MAG), Beijing Construction EngineeringGroup (BCEG), Carillion PLC and the Greater Manchester Pension Fund (GMPF).
Faithful+Gould has been involved with Airport City Manchester for more than four years, initially providing a strategic commercial overview of the project masterplan, which has evolved into a more integral role, delivering critical infrastructure projects and supporting the early stages of development. We continue to provide project management, cost management and employer’s agent, alongside our Programme Management Office (PMO), which supports the joint venture partners.
A significant challenge on this development has been the stakeholder management. This has been intensified by the operational airport environment. We have developed strong relationships, working alongside the joint venture partners, key internal stakeholders within MAG, and also with statutory planning and highway authorities and the local community.
The £35m infrastructure investment by the joint venture partners will act as the catalyst for occupier interest, unlocking the site’s development plots. Phase 1 of the £15m Enterprise Way link road will see the road opening in December 2017. Alongside the new road, Airport City is investing more than £6m in a new pedestrian and cycle bridge over the M56 spur road, which will provide the connectivity to link the development site to the Ground Transport Interchange, the wider Airport Estate and the local community. We are also about to start design work on a 90,000 sq ft office and multi-storey car park, a 250,000 sq ft office campus, and four hotels.