A £130m ‘China Cluster’ at Airport City Manchester was launched as part of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit, alongside new direct flights to Beijing.
The President of The People’s Republic of China, His Excellency Xi Jinping, accompanied by Madame Peng Liyuan, visited the UK last week as guests of the Queen.
Whilst at Manchester Airport on Friday, the President and Prime Minister David Cameron were shown plans for a £130m China Cluster at the airport.
The cluster will provide a commercial base for Chinese businesses arriving in the UK and offering a wide range of office premises. The China Cluster will be based around two campuses within the Airport City development, Wuhan Square and Shenzhen Gardens, together totalling 500,000 sq ft of space.
Announced in October 2013, Airport City Manchester is a joint venture partnership that brings together Manchester Airports Group, Beijing Construction Engineering Group, Carillion PLC, the Greater Manchester Pension Fund and Argent.
The flight will be operated by Hainan Airlines and will be the first direct scheduled flight to mainland China outside of London. Hainan will begin operating the new route between Manchester and Beijing Capital International Airport from 10 June 2016.
Charlie Cornish, chief executive of Manchester Airports Group, said: “Today’s announcements are clear evidence of the vital economic role that Manchester Airport plays both nationally and regionally within the UK.
“The North is playing a leading part in heralding a golden era of economic co-operation between the UK and China and we are delighted that His Excellency Xi Jinping and the Prime Minister, the Rt Hon David Cameron were able to join us in unveiling Airport City’s £130m ‘China Cluster’ investment and also Hainan’s new direct scheduled services to Beijing – the only route of its kind outside of London.
“Manchester Airport is the global gateway for the Northern Powerhouse and both the China Cluster and the new direct route will provide an opportunity for Chinese investors to access the many opportunities available to them in the North. Businesses in the North will also be significant beneficiaries as it will soon become much easier for them to build strong commercial relationships with Chinese partners.”