Manchester's hopes of creating an airport city have been given a substantial boost after a backer gave its full support.

Chinese construction company Beijing Construction Engineering Group (BCEG) has pledged to invest in the £800 million development. The agreement was announced by chancellor George Osborne on Sunday (October 13th) coinciding with a visit to China. The Chinese firm currently holds a 20 per cent stake in the project with developer Manchester Airport Group having a 50 per cent share, while Carillion (20 per cent) and GMPF (ten per cent) making up the rest of the interest.

Manchester has big plans for its airport city and is expected to be one of the largest regeneration schemes in the UK since the Olympic Games in London. Around five million sq ft will be created including offices and hotels alongside advanced manufacturing, logistics and warehousing. Around 16,000 jobs are set to be created in this development and will allow Manchester to compete against top European "Airport Cities" in the likes of Amsterdam, Barcelona and Frankfurt.

Infrastructure is already in the process of being improved with the expansion of the Metrolink tram services. Transport for Greater Manchester has already expanded the route to the likes of Rochdale, Oldham, MediaCityUK and Ashton-under-Lyne and by 2016 it hopes to have an operational link to the airport.

Securing the investment from BCEG represents a huge step forward for the project and will hope to ensure everything gets underway on time and within budget. Xing Yan, managing director of BCEG, championed the deal and described the development as an "exciting, challenging and rewarding opportunity".

"We see our involvement in Airport City as an extension of the memorandum of understanding between China and the UK, where we have been looking to further explore joint infrastructure opportunities for some time," Mr Yan added.

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