About the Manchester Enterprise Zone
Since the implementation of the Manchester Enterprise Zone in January 2012, there has been significant activity across the eight sites for job creation, land development and refurbishment of existing property.
The establishment of an Enterprise Zone provides important incentives for growth, but these can only be successful if built on a strong and commercially appealing offer. In the case of Manchester Airport City, this offer is clear. The Airport and University Hospital South Manchester are key economic assets, one offering connections to global markets and the other generating knowledge related to a growth sector. The Manchester Enterprise Zone includes complementary sites that will accommodate growth linked by supply chains and knowledge spillovers. With the right property and place offer, the commercial attractiveness of this location was unquestionable. The first five years of the Enterprise Zone have only enhanced confidence in this concept.
One of the unique benefits of the Manchester Enterprise Zone is the fantastic transport links available including Manchester Airport, the UK’s largest airport outside of London, the Metrolink, Rail, Bus, Road, Bicycle and Pedestrian walkways.
Planning and Development Framework
The Council and Manchester Airport made the preparation of a clear development framework a priority, to simplify the process of getting planning permission across the Zone. The Local Plan created a supportive statutory policy basis. An overarching framework was then adopted for the Zone as a whole in 2012. Detailed masterplans have also been prepared for Airport City North, Global Logistics, Medipark and Wythenshawe Town Centre. These documents have been endorsed by the Council and give clear direction to potential investors ensuring that new development can progress smoothly and in a manner that contributes to the Zone’s objectives.
Manchester’s Enterprise Zone is a complex proposition, involving numerous interests including Manchester Airports Group (MAG), other landowners, Manchester City Council, the other nine Greater Manchester authorities and development partners. A Manchester Enterprise Zone Strategic Board has been established to manage the operation of the Enterprise Zone, with membership representing Manchester City Council, Trafford Metropolitan Borough Council, Manchester Airport, the University Hospital of South Manchester (UHSM), MIDAS, MGC and the Greater Manchester LEP. This Board aims to ensure that the Manchester Enterprise Zone is able to maximise the potential of this location to benefit Greater Manchester. This includes managing the delivery of the strategic vision, marketing and co-ordination of development across the Enterprise Zone sites, and monitoring the performance of the Enterprise Zone against key measures including the fiscal and employment outcomes to be secured across the Zone.
Supporting the Strategic Board is a EZ Landowners Commissioning Body chaired by MAG with the Chief Executive of Manchester City Council, UHSM and the Chief Executives of Stockport and Oldham Councils. This Body is the principal focus for ensuring that the EZ is managed effectively in accordance with objectives and that the landholding interests across the Zone are fully represented.
Procurement of Delivery Partners
In October 2013, MAG announced the selection of a consortium comprising Carillion, BCEGI and GMPF as its partners to deliver development across the sites at Airport City North and Global Logistics. The development is managed by an inhouse development team, after the initial phase was completed by Argent in April 2016. Progress has also been made at Medipark, with a Special Purpose Vehicle (Medipark LLP) established between University Hospital of South Manchester NHS Foundation Trust and Bluemantle that will seek to develop and refurbish space for health care businesses.
These partnerships bring the Enterprise Zone proposition further forwards, ensuring that the vision established at the outset is shared across a structure that is capable of delivering it on the ground.
The Manchester Enterprise Zone proposes a step change in the level of economic activity around Manchester Airport. This will require a considerable improvement to the capacity of local infrastructure. In order that infrastructure gaps do not block investment, work is underway to respond strategically to this challenge. This includes £1bn investment into improving facilities at the airport. Connectivity has been enhanced by the extension of the Metrolink tram network to the Airport, which arrived a year ahead of schedule. Road investment around the Airport, supported by funding from central and local government and MAG, is now secured. A further £6 million grant has been secured to boost energy supply around Medipark.