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£12M ALPHA Logistics Facility Completed


The AlphaAirport City Manchester joint venture has completed its new £12m logistics facility ALPHA.

The 130,000 sq ft development at Airport City offers logistics units ranging from 17,500 sq ft to 35,000 sq ft.

Completed on time and on budget, ALPHA was forward-sold during its construction for £12.2m to the Greater Manchester Pension Fund (GMPF) which was advised by LaSalle Investment Management. The building has now been handed over to GMPF.

Airport City Manchester said that ALPHA has already generated strong interest from potential occupiers with announcements expected shortly. The joint venture partners are Manchester Airports Group, Beijing Construction Engineering Group International (BCEGI), Carillion and GMPF.

Susan Quinn, chairman of GMPF Property Working Group, said: “We’re delighted that our infrastructure partnership with Airport City has once again delivered on our stated goal of hands-on direct investment and successful collaboration. This investment will give us the strong levels of return we seek as well as provide badly needed opportunities for international businesses and jobs for Greater Manchester. We look forward to welcoming our first tenants and their staff.

“Many pension funds struggle to invest in infrastructure but we are leading the way and we look forward to building upon this success. We’re excited by the pipeline of potential investments and we look forward to working on more opportunities to achieve our twin aims of significant investment returns to pay our pensions promises, whilst delivering infrastructure and jobs for Greater Manchester.”

£1.5m Foundry Film Studios open in Salford

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Doors have opened at the new £1.5 million Foundry Film Studios in Salford.

The 8,000-square foot purpose-built venue on Ordsall Lane has been designed for the creation of TV and advertising content, as well as photo shoots and events.

Its 10-strong staff is being led by managing director James Shannon, who is 28, and 23-year-old Madeline Penfold.

Shannon said: “Our combined ambition was to create a space which is ultimately an artistic hub and where collaboration is at the core.

“We wanted to make it feel like a home-from-home environment and develop an alternative to the cold, un-welcoming feeling that is so often found in a lifeless empty studio.

“We have built a space where traditional workflows can be broken and a place where we can continually adapt to the needs of our clients. The TV industry has evolved and boundaries are constantly being pushed.

“Experience, process and technology are very much a focus of the Foundry Studios and being able to work with our clients across the world offering them an immersive live experience is second to none.”

Foundry Studios is home to two expansive studios, with one containing one of the largest infinity coves in the northwest.

There are also edit facilities, dressing rooms, creative breakout areas, a mezzanine platform, bar area and its own in-house collective of directors, producers and editors.

Foundry Studios’ in-house team is already working with fashion and retail clients producing content for TV and online.


MediaCity UK set to double in size

Salford council have approved plans to double the size of MediaCity UK with 10 new buildings worth up to £1billion to be built.

mediacity1Phase two of MediaCity UK development includes: 540,000sq ft of offices, 1,800 apartments, retail and leisure units, public spaces and a pedestrian promenade.

MediaCity UK is a joint venture between Peel Land and Property and Legal and General Capital who are committed to the expansion of the digital and tech hub which already houses 250 businesses including the BBC and ITV.

Steven Underwood, chief executive of The Peel Group, said: ‘This application is another major step forward in the evolution of MediaCityUK. “Our partnership with Legal and General Capital, alongside continued support from the public sector, provides a strong platform to deliver future development phases of the UK’s fastest growing hub for the creative and digital industries.

“MediaCityUK is a shining example of what can be achieved across the Northern Powerhouse, combining the talents of great people with ambition and vision.”

Paul Stanworth, managing director, Legal and General Capital, said: ‘Urban regeneration of the scale being delivered at MediaCityUK has the ability to make a sizeable economic impact, both locally and nationally.

“Legal and General Capital saw this potential when we invested in the project last year and are excited to be working with The Peel Group together with key partners to put forward plans for the second phase.

“We hope to deliver much-needed homes, hubs for businesses and new retail, leisure and public spaces for residents, workers and visitors to enjoy.”

Development at MediaCityUK continues apace with the new Tomorrow building coming on stream during the summer and The Lightbox apartment block due to commence construction in early 2017.

Stephen Wild, managing director, MediaCityUK, said: “We pride ourselves on having created much-loved buildings such as The Pie Factory and The Greenhouse.

“Phase two will provide a unique opportunity for a new generation of designs to complement what is already a thriving and vibrant destination.

“Like any city, we continue to grow in line with the needs of business – today’s plans show the huge potential for the MediaCityUK of 2026.”

Manchester Aiport celebrates freight growth

Man Air


The 2015/16 financial year has been Manchester Airport’s best year in freight exports since 2011.

Figures released by Manchester Airport have revealed that over 100,000 tonnes of cargo were shipped through Manchester to destinations across the globe.

Manchester Airport’s growing links in the Middle East has resulted in over 50,000 tonnes of freight being shipped to Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Qatar as Manchester is emerging as a centre for e-commerce due to the rise of Amazon Prime, Alibaba and Net-a-Porter.

Since the launch of the Cathay Pacific direct flight to Hong Kong in December 2014 the route has become important for exports from Manchester. Hong Kong and Singapore now receives nearly 12,000 tonnes of cargo from Manchester Airport.

Ken O’Toole, chief executive of Manchester Airport, said: “Manchester Airport plays an important role in connecting the North of England to key markets around the world.

“Many of our long-haul routes are not available from any airport outside of London and these figures demonstrate how these services do not just offer more choice for leisure passengers, they deliver direct trade benefits to the region.

“This underlines the airport’s role as a key enabler of growth and we expect the launch of more long-haul new services to the likes of Beijing, Los Angeles, Boston and San Francisco to drive up export volumes in the coming months and years.”

Microsoft’s Bing opens new Manchester office

Manchester is to welcome another tech giant to the city as Microsoft announce plans to open an office for Bing Ads. Manchester

Bing currently has a 17% share of the search engine market, second only to Google, but is expecting a period of sustained growth following the success of Windows 10. Google have been dominant in the search engine market but Aaron McGrath, sales director at Bing Ads, claims that they are in for the “long haul” in order to challenge Google. Since Bing has become the default search engine for Cortana, the Windows 10 personal assistant, the company has increased focus into improving the quality of results whilst enabling users to perform more natural searches across all devices and services. McGrath said that the new Manchester office considers itself as a “challenger brand” in the search engine market and the environment in Manchester plays into this belief. “One of the things when we came to Manchester is the spirit of challenging,” he added. “We wanted to tap into some of that creativity and innovation and really learn from it. We see as ourselves as a learning organisation and we want to partner with agencies and learn from them.” For more information go to

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