North West meets Far East

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Chancellor George Osborne has announced that Manchester Airport Group will work in partnership with a Chinese construction company as part of its plans to create ‘Airport City’.  Mr Osborne made the announcement on Monday from Beijing Airport during a trade mission to China.

The exciting news comes as several stories have gone to press relating the efforts by the government and the City of London to court investment and tourism from China.  Britain is one of the top ten nations to attract Chinese investment, securing more than double the investment of any other nation in Europe.  The news from Manchester Airport reflects that this investment is not restricted to the capital.  Indeed, the project is to be the largest UK development since the London 2012 Olympic Games.

The one hundred and fifty acre business district is to be funded to the tune of £800m by Beijing Construction Engineering Group, which will work together with Carillion Plc and the Greater Manchester Pension Fund to develop the project.  The government hopes that the development of the enterprise zone will enable the Manchester project to compete with similar Airport City projects in Amsterdam and Barcelona.

The project is a key part of the government-backed enterprise zone launched in 2011 to attract international businesses to Manchester and will create an anticipated sixteen thousand jobs over fifteen years.

The press has subsequently reported the efforts of Boris Johnson and George Osborne to steal the limelight from one another during a visit to a Beijing University – presumably in the hope of usurping the Airport’s place in the headlines.  However, Manchester Airport’s place in the headlines looks assured owing to the forthcoming Slater Heelis Manchester Airport City Q&A Breakfast Seminar, which will take place at the end of this week.