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Manchester Airport marks one year on from the start of the final phase of its £1.3bn transformation

Manchester Airport marks one year on from the start of the final phase of its £1.3bn transformation

Manchester Airport has marked 12 months since the start of the final phase of its £1.3bn transformation programme by looking at the important milestones reached in the last year.

Work started on the second phase of the programme in January 2023 and since then the airport has seen significant progress, including the creation of 500 new construction jobs, the demolition of Terminal 2’s old security and retail hall to make way for a brand new one and major developments on the airfield.

The first phase of the project started with the opening of the west side of the brand-new Terminal 2 – which has already won a prestigious design award, the Prix Versailles, which recognised it as one of the most beautiful airport buildings in the world.

Passenger feedback on the new Terminal has already been extremely positive – a survey of more than 1,000 passengers last summer that showed 93% of passengers rated their overall satisfaction as ‘good,’ ‘very good’  or ‘excellent’.

The second phase focuses on the east side of Terminal 2 which is being brought in line with the award-winning west side and will feature 27 new shops, bars and restaurants – which will be announced in the spring.

Over the course of the next 18 months the second phase will see the completion of Terminal 2’s second pier that will increase the number of boarding gates and provide capacity for next generation aircraft and the giant Airbus A380. It will also see the completion of a new check in hall and brand-new security scanners, an extension of the departure lounge and the installation of a landmark piece of art made using the iconic old chandeliers that used to be in Terminal 1.

Once complete, Terminal 2 will become the airport’s main terminal and cater for over 70% of its passengers. It will also allow for the closure of Terminal 1.

Key milestones in the last year include:

January 2023: Phase 2 launched

February 2023: Demolition of the old retail and security hall

March 2023: Creation of 500 new construction jobs on the project – plus opportunities for T Level students and work experience students

April 2023: Work completed in Terminal 2 West check in hall – including the delivery of 40 new check in desks that are already improving customer service. The baggage hall was also extended and the new system for moving

May 2023: Tenders launched for 27 new shops, restaurants and bars to go in the new part of the Terminal 2 departure lounge – the final lineup will be announced in the spring

June 2023: Construction started on Pier 2 – this is the largest infrastructure element of the second phase and will almost double the terminal’s capacity for aircraft – including making it able to accommodate two Airbus A380s, the largest passenger jets in the world

July 2023: Piling started – piling is the process of drilling reinforced foundations into the ground to allow for the construction of large, heavy buildings. The project is using innovative pre-cast piles that significantly reduce vehicle movements involved in the construction and drives down its carbon footprint

August 2023: Significant work on the airfield carried out – including the installation of a sub-terranean aviation fuel pipe and the beginning of work to create a new dual taxiway which will make the airfield more efficient

September 2023: Welcomed new apprentices on to the project

October 2023: Work began on the east check in hall – work that will bring it in line with the award winning west side of the hall

November: In November the team carried out important community fundraising work

December: Preparations underway for an epic 18 months of further work on the programme to see it complete in 2025

Jill Fraser, Manchester Airport Transformation Programme delivery director, said: 

“The last 12 months have seen an incredible amount of work and it’s amazing to see the project really taking shape.

“From the creation of more than 500 jobs, to the work to improve the way the airfield works – this is a huge project but one that will have so many benefits for our passengers.

“We’ve already started to see some of the benefits of the programme, with our passengers who have used Terminal 2 giving amazing feedback and the award of the prestigious Prix Versailles.

“And the exciting thing is that we’ve not even finished yet – so we’re looking forward to an epic 18 months ahead. We’re proud to connect the North to the world and are looking forward to passengers seeing everything we deliver.”

James Rogers, Director at Terminal 2 architects Pascall+Watson, said: 

“Pascall+Watson Architects are proud to be part of Manchester Airport’s project team. This second phase of Manchester Airport’s Award Winning Transformation Programme will continue to build on the success of Phase 1, providing world-class facilities. Our collective efforts serve to connect the people of Manchester and the North with the rest of the world, helping to promote economic growth and tourism for the wider region.”

Carl Dainter, Head of Global Aviation for Mace Consult, said: 

“The team has collaborated at every step of the way to overcome challenges, meet important milestones, and lay the foundations for a busy 18 months ahead, and we are looking forward to handing the completed facilities over in 2025, enabling Manchester Airport to continue to grow its enhanced capacity and offering to the Northwest of England.”



Avanti West Coast – Stakeholder Bulletin – ASLEF Strike Action February

Avanti West Coast – Stakeholder Bulletin – ASLEF Strike Action February

ASLEF Strike Action

ASLEF, the train drivers’ union, has announced strikes affecting Avanti West Coast on Saturday 3 February – part of a range of industrial action at multiple train companies between 30 January and 5 February. We are advising that customers do not attempt to travel on Avanti West Coast on Saturday 3 February as we will not be running any services on any of our routes. We’re disappointed with this industrial action, and we are sorry for the inconvenience it will cause to our customers.

Avanti West Coast services on the days either side of the strike will also be affected, along with industrial action impacting other train companies throughout the week, so we are asking customers to check their entire journey before they travel.  Please go to: https://www.avantiwestcoast.co.uk/travel-information/live-train-status 

Customers who booked tickets to travel on strike days before the industrial action was announced, on or before 16 January, can claim a full, fee-free refund from their point of purchase. Alternatively, customers with pre-booked tickets for strike days can use these on alternative travel dates as follows:

• Tickets dated between Tuesday 30 January and Monday 5 February can be used any time from Monday 29 January up until Wednesday 7 February.

Customers don’t need to make any changes to their ticket in order to travel flexibly – Avanti’s onboard and station teams will be ready to accept tickets as outlined above. However, these easements do not include London Underground services.

To minimise the number of people disrupted, we’ve suspended ticket sales for Saturday 3 February. Customers should continue to check our website, and those of other operators, for updates. Online journey planners now accurately show no Avanti West Coast trains on Saturday 3 February. Customers should continue to check the Avanti West Coast website, and those of other operators, for updates.

ASLEF has also announced that their members will withdraw from working any overtime between 29 January and 6 February. Though the plan is to run the normal timetable during this period (with changes instead relating to the full strike action on 3 February and the resulting impact on 2 and 4 February), customers are recommended to check before they travel, as the overtime ban’s impact will vary from route to route, and the entire journey across multiple train operators may be affected.

Cheshire & Warrington Support Reintroduction of Tax Free Shopping

Cheshire & Warrington Support Reintroduction of Tax Free Shopping

Cheshire and Warrington’s tourist, business and council leaders pen open letter to Chancellor urging reintroduction of tax-free shopping for EU visitors to inject “hundreds of millions of pounds of income” into region’s economy

Tourist, business and council leaders in Cheshire and Warrington have penned an open letter to Chancellor Jeremy Hunt calling for the reintroduction of tax-free shopping for EU visitors – to create thousands of jobs and inject “hundreds of millions of pounds of income” into the region’s economy.

The letter, produced by the region’s official tourism body, Marketing Cheshire, with the support and signatures of sector and council partners, stresses the move would act as an  adrenaline-kick” to accelerate the upward post-pandemic growth in a visitor economy worth £3.41bn and attracting 50million visitors a year “at a time when operators are contending with cost pressures, staffing and skills shortages, and increasing global competition for tourism”. 

Making the case the letter, sent on Wednesday 24th January states that restoring tax-free shopping for EU visitors in the Spring Budget would “provide an enormous stimulus” to the visitor economy across a region not just blessed with world class attractions like Chester Zoo, Tatton Park and muddled mazes of BeWILDerwood but diverse shopping destinations ranging from designer outlet Cheshire Oaks in Ellesmere Port to the historic 13th Century Chester Rows – home of the Three Old Arches in Bridge Street which believed to be the oldest surviving shop face in Britain.

The letter points to evidence from Visit Britain that shows that EU visitors are more likely to make repeated visits to the UK and travel outside of London than long haul visitors.

Urging the Chancellor to act, the Marketing Cheshire letter stresses that reintroducing VAT free shopping for EU visitors “would bring hundreds of millions of pounds of income into the North West, into Cheshire and Warrington, invigorating our economy, safeguarding employment and creating thousands of new jobs”.

The letter signed by Louise Gittins, Leader of Cheshire West and Chester Council; Cllr Hans Mundry, Leader of Warrington Borough Council; Trevor Brocklebank, Vice Chair of the Cheshire and Warrington Local Enterprise Partnership and Chair of Marketing Cheshire; Eleanor Underhill, Chair of Destination Cheshire; Colin Potts, Chair of Destination Chester; Stephen Fitzsimons, Chief Executive, Warrington & Vale Royal Chamber of Commerce; Carl Critchlow, Chief Executive Officer, Chester BID; Ellis Wardle, Chair, Northwich Business Improvement District; Terry Hayward, Chief Executive, North Cheshire Chamber; Paul Colman, Chief Executive, South Cheshire Chamber of Commerce and Industry; Debbie Bryce, Chief Executive Officer, West Cheshire & North Wales Chamber of Commerce; Joanna Davies, Chair, Wilmslow Business Improvement District and Dave McNicholl, Chair, Warrington Business Improvement District adds: As we are no longer part of the EU, we could become the only European country where 447million EU residents can shop tax-free, massively increasing our appeal to overseas visitors.”

The open letter comes amid a national lobbying effort. The Association of International Retail believe abolishing VAT on shopping for EU visitors would be worth “an additional £10 billion pounds in spending by EU visitors annually” and generating £1bn additional VAT for the Treasury.

Carl Critchlow, Chief Executive of Chester BID said: “Chester BID proudly represents 500 diverse and wonderful businesses in a city that welcomes 8million visitors a year – including many from across Europe, so we would fully back anything that would boost the economy, jobs and strengthen our globally-renowned offering.”

And Trevor Brocklebank, Chair of Marketing Cheshire and Deputy Chair of Cheshire and Warrington Local Enterprise Partnership said, “The Cheshire and Warrington visitor economy is continuing its upward growth and there is considerable work taking place in our region to improve our visitor offer, accessibility and promotion but it is clear that the Chancellor can accelerate that growth by restoring tax-fee shopping for our EU visitors.”



Chamberlink – January, 2024

Chamberlink – January, 2024

Read all the latest news from our members from across North Cheshire in the latest edition of our magazine, Chamberlink.

There is news of a Royal Award,  new members, a VIP visit to AstraZeneca and details of our new Business Support Initiative in collaboration with South Cheshire and East Cheshire Chambers as well as details of all the winners from the recent North Cheshire Business Awards.

Read it all here


Celebrating ‘royal recognition’ for training and development at IPG Health Medical Communications

Celebrating ‘royal recognition’ for training and development at IPG Health Medical Communications

IPG Health Medical Communications has been awarded the coveted Princess Royal Training Awards for their early-career training programme.  

Terry Hayward joined the IPG Health Medical Communications team at their Macclesfield office to celebrate in style with a traditional afternoon tea, in honour of HRH The Princess Royal. 

Delivered by the City and Guilds Foundation, The Princess Royal Training Awards recognise organisations that demonstrate exceptional commitment to learning and development. IPG Health Medical Communications received the award for their industry-leading early career training programme, Fuel (Future Experts and Leaders).

Building on the network’s distinguishing proactive career management (PCM) approach, IPG Health Medical Communications introduced Fuel in 2021 to equip trainees with the skills, experiences, networks, and inspiration needed to successfully launch their careers. Over 200 people have taken part in the programme so far, in the UK, North America and South Africa, with 100% of associates reporting that the programme met their expectations.

HRH The Princess Royal, President of the City and Guilds of London Institute, presented the award to IPG Health Medical Communications at a ceremony at St. James’ Palace, noting the sustainable provision of skills training provided through the programme and the positive impact on the organisation and its’ people.  The Princess Royal Training Award adds to the team’s portfolio of awards this year, having also received two Stevie Awards for ‘Most Innovative Learning and Development Program (Fuel)’ and ‘Learning/Training Team of the Year’.

Caroline Smith, Executive Director, Talent said: “Here at IPG Health Medical Communications, we are driven by a healthy obsession with doing what’s right for our clients, their brands, and our people. We take our responsibility seriously when it comes to ensuring our people have endless opportunities to grow, develop new skills, and be challenged in a variety of ways. Fuel is our latest initiative to this end, and to have it recognised as one of the top training programmes in the industry and across the UK is a great source of pride for all of us.” 

Manchester Airport staff donate £10,000 worth of presents for neighbouring communities

Manchester Airport staff donate £10,000 worth of presents for neighbouring communities

Colleagues at Manchester Airport have donated more than £10,000 of gifts to homeless people, care home residents and children from disadvantaged backgrounds following an appeal.

The airport has pledged that no vulnerable person in its neighbouring communities should wake up on Christmas morning without a gift. The pledge met an overwhelming response from airport staff who donated more than 1,000 presents.

The donated gifts included books, jigsaws, plush toys, Lego and colouring sets. The airport then matched this with around 1,000 more gifts.

Managing Director Chris Woodroofe and other senior management from the airport volunteered their time to wrap the mountain of presents, which have since been distributed to around a dozen community centres, care homes, family charities and foodbanks over the past week.

Age UK Manchester’s Crossacres Day Centre received 75 of the gifts, which will be shared among their clients, many of whom rely on the centre for social interaction and support with day-to-day living.

Zoe Jones, the Centre Manager, said: “Many of our day care clients are isolated, so we are their only contact with the outside world. These gifts will go a long way to making those people feel loved and valued this Christmas and will put a lot of smiles on a lot of faces, so we are extremely grateful to the staff at Manchester Airport for their generosity.”

Also benefitting is Marion Lauder House, a care home in Wythenshawe. Lee Stringfellow, a Director at Careconcepts which runs Marion Lauder House, said: “We currently have 79 residents and many of them can actually see the planes taking off from their bedrooms. We cater for people suffering from varying types of dementia and other mental health conditions and we’re proud to have a really good reputation locally, for the support and care we give to the people in our care.

“The Christmas presents donated by staff at Manchester Airport will be greatly appreciated by the residents, some of whom don’t have any family or friends to support them so this support is invaluable to them and indeed our staff team.”

A number of the gifts were also distributed to Family Action, which operates five Children’s Centres in Wythenshawe, supporting hundreds of parents and children from pregnancy to 5 years through individual and group activities, aiming to give children the best start in life.

Julie Philbin, a Locality Manager for the charity, said: “The ongoing cost of living crisis creates financial pressures that make Christmas a real worry for some of the families we support. The incredibly generous donation of toys from Manchester Airport’s staff means we can make sure that parents will have a gift to give to their children this year.”

Wythenshawe Foodbank was another recipient of donated gifts. Tony Petrou, a Trustee, explained: “We have been working hard to help feed the people in the local community and have tried to make sure no child is forgotten at this time of year. We’ve been giving out advent calendars and selection boxes but thanks to this donation we have also managed to extend this and offer toys to parents. This has helped us take some stress away from parents and make sure Santa visits more children this year.”

The airport’s Community Engagement team organised the collection and distribution of the gifts, and has also been involved in a number of other projects to support those living close to the airport in 2023. These have included an ‘Autumn Leaves’ lunch for people aged over 65 in the Woodhouse Park area, in an effort to combat social isolation in older age groups, and a ‘Little Book of Travel Tales’ to support children learning to read, which was shared with schools for free on World Book Day.

“We have fantastic people working for us at Manchester Airport and I am extremely proud of our colleagues’ response to this appeal. It is hugely important that our neighbouring communities share in the benefits of having a major international hub on their doorstep – and that doesn’t just mean through ease of access to travel, or increased employment opportunities. We very much see ourselves as an integral part of this community and that means offering a helping hand to those who might need it – not just at Christmas, but throughout the year.” Chris Woodroofe – Managing Director, Manchester Airport