News that Greater Manchester’s Enterprise Zone will grow by almost 50 per cent following the announcement, contained in the detail of yesterday’s budget report, has been welcomed by political and business leaders.

The Enterprise Zone (EZ) will increase in size from 116 acres to 171 acres under proposals announced in today’s budget.

The expansion, which will underpin the growth of the EZ in the short and medium term, includes, 
Medipark – four sites and 15,000m2 of net additional business space ,Airport City South,,one single site, with the potential for more than 80,000m of new logistics development and Airport City North, a small extension to Airport City North of  600m2.

Businesses choosing to locate in the zone benefit from business rates discounts of up to £275,000, superfast broadband and simplified planning procedures.

Sir Richard Leese, leader of Manchester City Council, said: “The Enterprise Zone is already proving a success in attracting new national and international investment in some key growth industries. Manchester Airport and Airport City are vital economic anchors for Greater Manchester, as is the University Hospital of South Manchester and Medipark. This expansion of the Enterprise Zone will support our wider growth strategy by helping attract further investment and supporting up to 3,000 new jobs.”

Lynda Shillaw, Divisional CEO Property at Manchester Airports Group (M.A.G), said: “We welcome today’s announcement at a time when the £800m Airport City Manchester development is really beginning to gain momentum.

“This extension will further reinforce the breadth of our offer which will help attract many more companies and in turn, jobs.

“Recently, we have announced speculative schemes at both Airport City’s Global Logistics site and within the Central Business District, reflecting the high level of current occupier demand. In addition, DHL has opened a major, 37,400 sq ft state of the art facility serving the wider region and planning permission has been granted for a 350 bed hotel.

“Over the next 10 years, Airport City Manchester will deliver 5 million sq ft of office, logistics, hotel, retail, and advanced manufacturing space and aims to provide 16,000 employment opportunities.”

Mark Caldwell, CEO of Bluemantle, said: “A recent occupier for MediPark and the world’s largest NGO healthcare provider, the Hospitals Corporation of America is creating over 200 jobs in the EZ. By increasing the space and opportunity for the creation of integrated healthcare solutions, the EZ extension will help attract health and care organisations to base themselves in Manchester, building on the successes already achieved on the Roundthorn Estate. This is good news that will help support the creation of an integrated health and care system for Manchester and Manchester’s European City of Science status.” 

Tim Newns, chief executive of MIDAS, Manchester’s inward investment agency said “It is clear that our Enterprise Zone is a huge draw for the region, attracting significant investment from priority markets such as the US, China and Europe. The announcement that the zone is expanding therefore comes as excellent news and will undoubtedly bolster our efforts to secure long term investment into Greater Manchester. “


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