The future of an Enterprise Zone in Manchester received a boost today thanks to a partnership with Chinese firm Beijing Construction Engineering Group (BCEG).
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Chancellor of the exchequer George Osborne today announced £800m of investment into the area, which he dubbed "Airport City". He said the government-backed scheme would see more than 16,000 jobs created in the area.
Enterprise Zones were introduced by the Coalition in 2011. The aim was to offer centres across the UK with reduced business tax rates, simplified planning procedures and high-end facilities, including superfast broadband connectivity, to encourage more businesses to set up shop.
Manchester was one of the first confirmed locations, but this additional funding from BCEG, alongside initial investors Manchester Airport Group (MAG), Carillion PLC and Greater Manchester Pension Fund (GMPF), will secure the five million square feet of business space.
The 160-acre site will then play host to manufacturing, warehousing, offices, hotels, retail and leisure venues.
“I am delighted to announce on the first day of my visit to China that joint British-Chinese partners have won the contract to develop Manchester’s Airport City,” said Osborne. “As an MP representing a nearby seat I welcome the new jobs and the opportunities for local businesses that Airport City will create.”
“I am determined that Britain does not repeat the mistakes of past that saw investment and growth only concentrated in the City of London, important as it is; but instead make sure investment from places like China flows to all parts of country.”
Last week, the government announced an extra £100m of funding for Enterprise Zones in a bid to boost large infrastructure projects serving the areas, including road building.