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China to invest in £650m Manchester Airport City

It will be connected to the rest of the UK via national rail at the airport’s ground transport hub and to Manchester city centre via the Metrolink. Funding for extensive cycle routes has also been provided.

MANCHESTER – Manchester Airport City, a £650m mixed-use development by Manchester Airport, England, could be backed by China in a deal expected to be signed imminently.

Reports arising in several national newspapers claim that the development could be financed by the state-run Industrial and Commercial Bank of China.

A spokesman for Manchester Airports Group (MAG) told that an announcement will be made in around a week: “At present we don’t have anything to comment on at this stage. Once we have confirmed plans we will make our own statement,” he said.

MAG’s efforts to attract Chinese investment were reported by Manchester Evening News in July 2012, when it said that MAG’s property director John Atkins flew to Shanghai to brief 200 potential investors at a conference,  touting the development as the perfect location for European headquarters for Chinese Businesses.

Now, the Financial Times has reported that a deal with ICBC is imminent, a claim the Times has also made, saying the deal is “expected to be announced next weekend when George Osborne leads a trade mission to China”.

Osborne attended the official groundbreaking of the 15-year development in May this year when he said: “Manchester Airport is already an economic growth area and we look forward to seeing the first buildings and companies announced. This is a long term project for the North West and I’m pleased to see so many partners working together to make it a success.”

Airport City will provide 1.4 million sq ft of logistics and warehousing, 1.5 million sq ft of offices and 650,000 sq ft of manufacturing space with a number of hospitality and retail services. Its Enterprise Zone will afford new occupiers £275,000 worth of rates relief and superfast broadband.

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