Back to yesterday and thought I would mention the airport and not just to see if Marc Hudson is still tuning in from the Antipodes but mainly because I was at an airport board meeting yesterday. Mostly when I mention the airport I get at least a couple of irate posts from people complaining about our plans for airport growth. Not sure they've noticed but for the last few years passenger numbers ( at airports across the UK , not just Manchester ) have been going down.
Security issues, recession, extreme wintry weather and volcanic dust have all played their part. Manchester Airport Group has remained profitable through the downturn which can't be said of all airports and the last couple of months have seen the first green shoots of going back into growth. It's probably helped that Manchester has invested in winter preparedness and stayed open throughout this winter's heavy snows but we have seen growth especially in scheduled long haul which is the most important sector to underpin overall economic growth in the city-region.
Yesterday afternoon I was in Harpurhey for the sod-turning ceremony for a new youth activity centre. Ironic I know given announcements earlier this week, but this is a voluntary sector led project through an organisation called Onside based on a very successful model already operating in Bolton. The new centre should be open by the end of the year and could provide a model for the future for youth activities throughout the city . Lots of energy and enthusiasm from the people leading the project and whatever else it shows that the city still has the capacity for doing new things, the capacity to keep moving forward.