Masterplanning team selected for Airport City

The design team to deliver Airport City, the 2m sq ft enterprise zone development at Manchester Airport, has been appointed.

MAG Developments, the property arm of Manchester Airports Group, has chosen Drivers Jonas Deloitte and Jones Lang LaSalle on planning and commercial surveying. Canadian firm Urban Strategies, which has worked on the initial concept, has been retained and will be supported by Manchester-based practice 5plus Architects.

Altrincham-based Planit will design landscape and public realm areas while Aecom and Davis Langdon have been chosen to advise on transportation, energy, utilities, sustainability and cost consultancy.

John Atkins, MD of MAG Developments, said: "This will not be one development but a place-making project over a 10- to 15-year period. It is imperative that we ensure that Airport City is of the highest quality and international standing, whilst having a tone and feel that is unique to Manchester."

Design work is now underway and occupier enquiries are already being received; and infrastructure will commence in 2012.

Simon Bedford, head of the economic development team at Drivers Jonas Deloitte, said: "Airport City is now moving into the delivery stage. Drivers Jonas Deloitte is pleased to continue its association with the project as it moves from concept through to more detailed feasibility. The enterprise zone designation will, we believe, accelerate the development programme and begin the transformation of the Airport City site."

Businesses that are expected to want to locate at Airport City include; logistics, freight forwarders, advanced manufacturers, those seeking high quality office accommodation, research and development, health related uses to build on the proximity to Wythenshawe Hospital as a centre of excellence, plus visitor accommodation, hotels and leisure uses to support the delivery of Airport City.

Bob Dyson, chairman of Jones Lang LaSalle North West, said: "We have been involved for some years in helping to shape the Airport City concept. It is a model which recognises that an airport can do so much more than perform its aeronautical function."

Phil Doyle, director of 5plus Architects, said: "We're naturally delighted to have been chosen in a competitive situation, particularly having had a previous relationship with the company through our work on the new Escape Lounge in Terminal 1 and the Pier B refurbishment programme. We put the concept of place-making at the heart of what we do and the new Airport City project will give us a chance to deliver a future vision for Manchester."

Enterprise zones are expected to benefit from a business rate discount worth up to £275,000 a year over five years, while all business rate growth within the zone for a period of at least 25 years will be shared and retained by the local area, to ensure that Enterprise Zone growth is reinvested in Greater Manchester.

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