A £6m grant to Greater Manchester’s Enterprise Zone will help support around 500 new jobs.
The money, awarded through the government’s Enterprise Zone Capital Grant scheme will be used for energy infrastructure work within the zone, particularly to attract companies from the IT, advanced manufacturing and medical technology sectors.
Greater Manchester Enterprise Zone consists of a series of linked sites focused around the airport, University Hospital of South Manchester and Wythenshawe town centre. These include MediPark, connecting with the hospital’s research strength, to focus on the health and biotech sectors.
The immediate objective of electricity reinforcement works is supporting around 500 new jobs by enabling 24,000 m2 of new commercial floorspace on the MediPark aimed at healthcare and medical technology businesses by 2024. Some 10,000 m2 of this is expected to be delivered by 2017/18.
Taken together with the later phases of MediPark, the overall development within this part of the Enterprise Zone will deliver around 4,500 new jobs and 250,000m2 of new commercial floorspace by 2026. The jobs figure does not include the construction roles which will be sustained or created through the planned development.
Based on projected loads, the new electricity infrastructure proposed will be able to service all the requirements for MediPark and provide approximately additional capacity that can, with reconfiguration of existing connections, meet the requirements of further development elsewhere within the Enterprise Zone such as Wythenshawe Town Centre.
Sir Richard Leese, leader of Manchester City Council, said: "This funding, which will help open up key development sites and support the creation of hundreds of jobs, is hugely welcome.
"The Enterprise Zone is an important initiative for the whole of the Greater Manchester economy and progress on MediPark, together with the announcements we’ve already seen on Airport announcement, underlines the contribution it is going to make."
Local Growth Minister Kris Hopkins said: "The Manchester Enterprise Zone is thriving and a magnet for big firms and foreign investment. Today’s £6 million cash injection will make the Zone a stronger, more competitive business environment to attract new jobs for the people who live in and around Greater Manchester. Enterprise Zones are part of our long term economic plan to secure a better future by spreading businesses, jobs and skills training across the country."