A planning application covering the first part of The Hut Group’s project at Airport City has been lodged with Manchester City Council.
Advised by GVA How Planning, a reserved matters application has been made for the Icon site, to be developed with Stoford. This includes a 455,000 sq ft warehouse with ancillary office space and up to three mezzanines; a 120,000 sq ft office block; a six-level multi-storey car park and a 460-space surface car park.
Architect Webb Gray has designed the scheme. In its covering letter accompanying the application, GVA How said: “THG has selected the site to cater for current and future operational needs, it is a diverse and dynamic business and has sought to bring a number of functions to the airport as part of its strategic growth plan. This includes the content creation studio which will occupy part of the new warehouse space.
“All THG operations are inextricably linked and require a location close to the airport to service the businesses operational needs now and in the future. Close proximity to the airport is important given the international nature of the business and the nature of THG operations. The THG development will provide office space over four floors as well as additional content creation facilities.”
THG last year acquired content studio Hangar 7, and said that the studio will expand the group’s content production capabilities dramatically.
GVA How said that the facility will be used as a warehouse for the storage of products falling under THG’s range of brands, and confirmed that the Icon site will house around 2,000 people with a range of roles including administration, warehousing, managerial, video production and photography to be used across THG’s digital offering.
The 12-acre site, which formed Plot 310 of the World Logistics Hub at Airport City, has an outline consent dating back to 2012. It sits between the M56 and the A538 Wilmslow Road, directly to the west of the World Freight Terminal.
Stoford acquired the site as part of a 45-acre brownfield purchase from the Airport City JV in summer 2017 with TPG.
The other element of THG’s Airport City plans is THQ, billed as a landmark business campus, which is to be built over 16.8 acres in four phases, with phase one comprising office buildings totalling 280,000 sq ft.
An option agreement has been reached between THG and Airport City Manchester for the further three phases in a project THG claims to represent the UK’s largest bespoke office development outside London.