TRANSPORT secretary Chris Grayling MP visited Manchester Airport to see work begin on a £1 billion ‘super terminal’ transformation.

The 10-year project will see Terminal 2 double in size, and is expected to create more than 1,500 jobs during the construction process alone – including almost 200 apprentices.

The Manchester Airport Transformation Programme (MAN-TP) will provide millions of passengers and airlines with state-of-the-art facilities, alongside a projected increase from 27 million to 45 million passengers per year.

Charlie Cornish, CEO of the Manchester Airport Group, said: “This is the largest private investment that has been made in the region for some time and the increased connectivity that it will deliver will enable it to become one of the most accessible and productive regions in Europe.

“It has never been more important that people and businesses across the whole country have easy access to global markets and our investment in transforming the airport will do this for the 25 million people who live within two hours of Manchester Airport.

“Equally, better global connectivity into the region will plug international investors directly into the potential that is available across the Northern Powerhouse.”

Work started on Friday, July 21 – the same day the Government launched its Aviation Strategy consultation.

The strategy will seek to set out a vision for UK aviation over the next three decades, and include proposals for how best use can be made of existing runway capacity at airports like Manchester, London Stansted and East Midlands – all part of the Manchester Airport Group.

Mr Grayling said: “Aviation is central to our future prosperity as we leave the European Union. As a global, trading nation we want to build on the great industry we have today and create opportunities for people up and down the country.

“Our new aviation strategy will look beyond the new runway at Heathrow and sets out a comprehensive long-term plan for UK aviation. It will support jobs and economic growth across the whole of the UK.”