We commenced work on the Airport City masterplan as far back as 2008. Previous work had already been undertaken by Manchester Airport Group (MAG) regarding market demand and the opportunities around land use and aviation expansion – as evidenced in the airports 2030 land use plan. The concept of an Airport City, capitalising on the unique connectivity of the airport as well as the availability of land alongside this, had also started to take hold.
Initial work centred on the big moves required to facilitate future sustainable development and improved connectivity to Wythenshawe. These included the re-configuration of ground access into the Transport Interchange, the re-location of Outward Lane (now known as Enterprise Way) and the adjustment of the T1/M56 spur roundabout to accept the termination of the Manchester Airport Relief Road – all of which are now complete. The final missing piece, first proposed in 2009, is the pedestrian bridge which facilitates a direct connection from the Transport Interchange to the main Airport City site.
Throughout the economic rise and fall of the last 12 years, the idea of the pedestrian link has been maintained – from the initial 3D sketch, through to the 2011 masterplan, the 2012 outline planning application, the formation of the Airport City JV in 2014, the subsequent masterplan evolution between 2015-18 and the design of the E Plots and the Hut Group’s new HQ.
Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither was Airport City – but over a 6 hour period, on the night of the 11 July 2020, 12 years after it was first conceived, a key piece of our place-making strategy was finally implemented with the installation of the bridge. With thanks to Airport City, BCEGI, ROC, Planit.ie, F&G and everyone else involved – it’s been a journey so far and hopefully this is just the start….
Please see the Airport City website for full details of the installation and local reaction.