First glimpse inside Manchester Airport’s planned new T2 with 27 shops, bars and restaurants

Artist impressions have been released showing how the fully-completed Terminal 2 at Manchester Airport will look ahead of its planned opening in 2025.

They reveal a huge departure lounge – double the size of the one currently in place as the terminal is extended – with an array of 27 shops, bars and restaurants set to be on offer to holidaymakers.

As is the case now, the food and drink offering should have a Mancunian feel to it alongside popular chains, with airport bosses vowing to showcase ‘the best of what the north has to offer’. The images capture a ‘high street’ feel to the departure lounge design, but also highlight important security upgrades.

The airport today announced a £440 million project to complete the new T2 building – the investment marking the final phase of the £1.3bn transformation programme first unveiled in 2015.

The completion of the project, however, will mark the end of Terminal 1 after more than 60 years, with bosses saying work to decommission T1 should start once the T2 extension is finished as by then, around 80 per cent of passengers will use T2 with T3 still open.

The area will have a ‘high street’ feel

Announcing the news, airport bosses and civic leaders in Greater Manchester said the new terminal would create thousands of jobs and was expected to unlock billions of pounds of economic value for the region over the next decade and beyond.

In a statement, owner MAG, said: “Manchester Airports Group today announced a £440m investment in Manchester Airport that will create thousands of jobs and unlock billions of pounds of economic value for the north over the next decade.

“The investment will transform the passenger experience at the UK’s third largest airport, with new spacious facilities, state-of-the-art technology and equipment, and an exciting array of shops, bars, restaurants and airport lounges.

A nod to Manchester is also promised

“It will see Manchester Airport expand its role as the UK’s global gateway in the North, connecting the region to even more international destinations, including some of the world’s most important economic markets.

“The investment is the final phase of the £1.3bn Manchester Airport Transformation Programme (MAN-TP), first announced in 2015 with a 10-year vision to revolutionise the customer experience at the northern hub and unlock the potential of its two full-length runways.”

The airport said more than 500 jobs will be created in the construction phase alone.

Independent analysis, bosses added, also showed around 16,400 extra jobs will be generated by 2040 as a result of the economic activity stimulated by the expansion of the airport and its route network.

The planned departures hall extension

“The same research – by York Aviation – reveals that Manchester Airport’s current contribution to the Northern economy of £3.5bn is expected to soar by nearly 80 per cent, to £6.3bn by 2040 as a result of the full delivery of the transformation programme,” added MAG.

“And a further £2.9bn boost will be triggered through the increased productivity of businesses travelling and trading globally through Manchester over the same period.”

The first phase saw the new T2, which opened in July 2021 after Covid delays, more than double in size.

The images also capture the design of an additional security hall, which is due to be fitted with next-generation, 3D security scanners. A new pier, matching the look and feel of the first pier that opened in 2019, will also be built. The departures hall will look exactly how the current one does, with similar design and Manchester Airport motifs.

The news has been welcomed by regional political leaders and analysts, as well as marketing bosses as a huge boost for Greater Manchester and the north.

Images show the new security hall plans

Henri Murison, Chief Executive of the Northern Powerhouse Partnership, said: “As the international gateway to the North of England, Manchester Airport acts as a critical player in our economy, supporting thousands of jobs and unlocking billions in economic value by facilitating tourism, trade and investment.

“This major investment will sit at the heart of plans to make the North one of the most competitive economic regions in the world, helping the North realise its full potential while rebalancing the UK economy.

“Over the past decade the Northern Powerhouse has built up a heavyweight reputation around the globe, with foreign direct investment up more than 72 per cent in the last five years. This transformation project from Manchester Airport will help to cement our position on the world stage and attract even more visitors and investors in the years to come.”

Sheona Southern, Managing Director at Marketing Manchester, said: “This year Lonely Planet and National Geographic have named Manchester a must-visit city, so it is great to hear about Manchester Airport’s investment to strengthen its position as a major international hub for the city, and gateway to the North.

“As the volume of international visitors to Greater Manchester increases, it is reassuring to know Manchester Airport will be ready to handle demand and offer visitors a warm welcome and a positive travel experience.”

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