Routes OUT of Manchester key to regional success as city and neighbours play big Northern Powerhouse role

It seems unusual to think that Manchester’s economic growth is dependent on the routes out of it.

But as the record-breaking figures prove, the expansion of the Manchester Airport could be the key ingredient in the city’s Northern Powerhouse progress.

Thanks to the airport’s introduction of a direct route to Beijing last year, the international hub is celebrating a record boost after 25 million passengers have passed through its doors for the first time.

And that’s not all. Manchester City Council will receive a £16.6 million windfall thanks to its 55% stake in the airport, and the other nine Greater Manchester councils will receive a £1.5 million dividend because of their respective 5% stakes. 

As a further £5 billion’s worth of business  opportunities are being showcased to investors, the Northern Powerhouse is turning its focus to their Atlantic neighbours in San Francisco when a direct route to the city launches in May next year.

As Manchester comes into focus as the flagship for the North, Greater Manchester Mayoral hopeful Sean Anstee sees the flights as an “integral” part of the Powerhouse’s transatlantic expansion.

“40% of our direct investment still comes from North America,” said the Trafford Council leader.

“We need to think about how both Manchester  Airport is attracting new, direct routes from Manchester, because it all contributes towards building new relationships. The introduction of new flight routes cannot be underestimated.”

And while central government are in support of the area’s foreign ventures, the Councillor says that the local government are playing an active role in forging North American relationships.

Councillor Anstee said: “The government’s  negotiating a trade deal with Canada, that we’re crunching in. We look to that, and say: “What’s our role? What’s our role in that? What are we going to get out of it?”

“There’s been significant Chinese investment,  and I think that’s just a great example of Manchester in particular going out to the world, and giving out our history in Manchester as a global city.

“Whether it’s science, whether it’s health and social care, and whether it’s manufacturing, engineering, that that can happen, here in Greater Manchester.”

With 52,000 blue chip employees and  a £2.2 billion output a year, Manchester is hoping to forge relations with Silicon Valley to boost their status as the second-biggest tech city in the UK.

The Californian tech hub is known as  the king of start-up funding, and will be accessible by investors and hopefuls three days a week.

With a 9.2% rise in profits, the Airport is keen to celebrate its economic gravitas in the city’s rejuvenation plans.

Manchester Airport Group deputy chief executive Collette Roche said: “In the last year alone we have launched flights to Houston, Beijing, Boston, to name a few, all of which can only be found at Manchester outside of London.”

“This underpins the role we play in the north as the global entry point of the Northern Powerhouse and as economic provider and job creator.”

Image courtesy of Manchester Airport Group, via YouTube, with thanks.

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