The essential vision for the Manchester Enterprise Zone is of an area driven by the economic activity generated by the airport, and the proposed Airport City and MediPark initiatives, complemented by a series of opportunity sites in South Manchester. Together, these primary drivers and linked clusters of readily developable and deliverable sites, each with distinct market, functional and development character, can be linked into an integrated economic whole. The geographic proximity of the sites is connected by the network of accessibility provided by the Metrolink, rail and motorway networks serving Manchester Airport, and by the current economic activity established by the airport and its future Airport City, and the hospital and its related MediPark, each with very different poles of activity.
Their economic activity, the consequent multiplier opportunities to surrounding sites and the physical links between them and the surrounding city, region, nation, and world, constitute the underlying structure of the Enterprise Zone. The Zone is scaled to include those sites that can maximise additionally to Airport City and MediPark, generating a development capacity within the context of realistic estimates of those projects and Greater Manchester demand, so as to minimise relocation from existing regional employment areas and to focus support employment generated by the core sites in the immediate vicinity. Additional economic activity can be captured in addition to activities directly linked to the airport, which the sites beyond Airport City and MediPark can accommodate.
The vision for the Manchester Enterprise Zone focuses on development opportunities to accommodate businesses that will benefit from the high level of connectivity provided by proximity to an international airport, but which are from a wider range of sectors and of a more varied size than is traditionally found at sites close to a major airport, including: business space, European Regional HQ, offices, logistics, advanced manufacturing and supporting retail and leisure, including hotels and conferencing facilities. Complementing these will be health and biotech related research and development, as well as training facilities associated with the MediPark. An emphasis has been placed on the distinctiveness of the employment and development offer in each of the core areas and peripheral cluster opportunities, and on their linkage into a combined economic presence of national and international importance.