Growing a tech hub at Airport City, Manchester
Lynda Shillaw, Chief Executive of Property at Manchester Airports Group, joined our third panel discussion on ‘Infrastructure as destination’, at our May Future Cities Forum, ‘The Making of the Modern City, held at City Hall, London.
Lynda described the development of Airport City which is being created outside the City of Manchester and where £1 billion is being invested over a 15 year period:
‘Partners include Beijing Construction and the Greater Manchester Pension Fund’, Lynda stated, ‘we have retained a 50% share and we are aiming to create 5 million square feet with a mix of cargo and logistics space as well as hotels and offices. This takes time but five years into the project we have let one million square feet and we are very focused on creating jobs for the region.
‘Amazon and DHL have been brought into the city, and we have let everything we can – so far. One of the main reasons for this is the excellent connectivity as there is heavy rail coming directly into the airport, tram connections to central Manchester, major roads and of course long and short haul flights. The new flights to both east and west coasts of the USA have been transformational in the number of technology companies taking space at Airport City. Beyond that occupiers include Handelsbanken, BCG, major airlines, Vodafone, and Siemens.’
Lynda went on to describe how they are developing a hotel district with four hotels due to open soon. 'We are also about to invest in speculative offices, as demand has been so strong for our existing stock.'
‘We have no residential as that is looked after by the local authorities close-by. Our focus is on making somewhere where people want to work and where they want to stay for restaurants and recreation – with well-being at the heart and access for local communities.’
Watch Lynda’s interview recorded at City Hall after the conference.