Air, Business, Feature, Freight News, Logistics

Manchester unveils major cargo plan

[ August 30, 2012   //   ]

Manchester Airports Group (MAG) has submitted an outline planning application for a £100m World Logistics Hub to the south of the airport’s Enterprise Zone. It will create 1.2- to 1.4-million sq ft of new logistics space, and will contain medium- and small-sized logistics units ranging from approximately 7,500 to 200,000sq ft.

The first major cargo development to be mooted at a UK airport for some time, World Logistics Hub will provide a full range of air-to-road transfer, assembly and processing activities for freight forwarders and other logistics business with easy access to the Airport’s apron, rail station and the UK motorway network.

It is expected to generate over 1,800 new jobs over the next ten- to 15-years, in addition to construction jobs.
MAG said the development aimed to tap into the approximately 60% of UK industrial output, generated in the North-west a significant proportion of which is exported.

The 36.9-hectare (91.2-acre) site will be next to Junction 6 of the M56 motorway, and close to the existing airport freight area. The new buildings will all be all designed and constructed to the latest environmental standards. It will be arrange around what MAG describes as a simple road system with two primary landscaped boulevards.

MAG’s Airport City Director, John Atkins, said the scheme would create “high quality and well-connected logistics facilities with access to the global marketplace and a population of over 24m people within a two-hour drive. This connectivity will create an exceptional opportunity to improve international trade, cut transit times and drive more efficient, sustainable supply chains whilst supporting the local community, increasing employment opportunities and stimulating economic activity in the North West.”
Manchester Airport is the UK’s fourth busiest airport for flown cargo, with over 107,000 tonnes of import and export freight and mail in 2011. Unlike most of the major London gateways, it still handles a significant number of cargo aircraft, as well as bellyhold.

World Logistics Hub is located in the southern part of Greater Manchester’s Enterprise Zone, designated by the UK Government in March 2011. If forms part of the £650m Airport City project, unveiled by Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, in January 2012 and which aims to transform Manchester Airport from a regional transport hub into an international business destination in its own right, attracting global businesses that would not have otherwise located in the region, or even the UK. As well as the new logistics area, it includes around 1.5 million sq ft of office space and 650,000sq ft of advanced manufacturing as well as hotels, shops and leisure centres.

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