Manchester Airport Group (MAG) has this week revealed statistics showing the true impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on passenger numbers.
The group has made an appeal to add a fourth category to the UK government’s traffic light travel system – which would mean that passengers don’t have to take a COVID test – after it reported that passenger numbers plummeted by 90% over the last 12 months of the pandemic.
Leaders at Manchester Airport Group (MAG) now argue that “plotting a path to restriction-free travel” will be key to the revival of the travel sector, with a roadmap based on “greater cooperation” needed between the UK government and its overseas counterparts to share information about the emergence of new COVID-19 variants of concern.
It says this fourth category would crucially eliminate the need for travellers to take expensive PCR tests on their return.
Currently, as part of the traffic light travel system – which is set to come into play from 17th May following review and categorises countries as red, amber or green based on the risk associated with visiting them – the UK government proposes that all passengers, even those returning from the lowest risk ‘green’ destinations, will have to take a PCR test so that it can gather data that will help with genomic sequencing, but MAG has said this could be avoided if governments worked together on sequencing and sharing data on variants.
MAG said that a restriction-free category that capitalises on the success of the UK’s world-leading vaccination programme would “remove significant personal cost to passengers” and inject “much-needed confidence” into the UK aviation sector ahead of what will be a critical summer season.
“The UK government is among the first to have set out proposals for a system that enables international travel to resume and should be applauded for taking the lead.” said MAG’s CEO, Charlie Cornish.
“After more than a year of almost total shutdown, and with so many jobs and so much economic value at stake, it’s really important we get people moving again once it is safe to do so [and] we now need the government to confirm the 17th May start date as soon as possible, along with the list of countries that fall into each ‘traffic light’ category.”
He continued: “The price tag attached to testing will hold back the recovery and hinder the sector’s ability to power the UK’s economic revival as a whole [though].
“The requirement to complete a PCR test on return from even the safest countries adds potentially unnecessary cost and the government’s attention must now turn to finding smarter and more affordable ways to manage the risk posed by new variants of concern [which] should be achieved by forging ever-closer partnerships with key markets and developing transparent ways of sharing data into these variants so they can be effectively contained.
“Where we can trust data from other countries, forcing people to spend money on expensive PCR tests, to obtain the very same information, would represent a colossal waste of everyone’s money”.
He concluded: “Only by setting ourselves on a course back to restriction-free travel now will the aviation industry find itself on a road to full recovery”.
You can find more information via the MAG website here.
Featured Image – Manchester Airport
A look at the plans to turn historic Ancoats mill with rich musical heritage into new apartment complex
Hodder + Partners have just revealed new CGIs and a more detailed look at the plans for their redevelopment of the longstanding Brunswick Mill in Ancoats which is set to become a brand-new apartment complex.
The proposals to turn the once creative space with decades of musical heritage into a new residential site were revealed back in 2021 and approved within just a few months, despite having been met with plenty of resistance given its history and cultural significance.
Nevertheless, Northern company Big Red Construction recently kicked off the £50+ million renovation on behalf of developer Arrowsmith Investments and the apartments are projected to be finished in 2026.
With that in mind, the architectural designers Hodder have just released a new look at what Brunswick Mill is set to look like once completed:
The short trailer gives a glimpse at the history of the Brunswick Mill space and what it’s set to become.
Set to transform the historic industrial mill-turned-creative space and music studios on the edge of New Islington into 153 new apartments, ranging from one, two and three-bedroom residences, the redevelopment will be spread across two phases.
In line with designs by Hodder + Partners, the initial phase involves converting the existing mill building and the construction of new four and seven-storey elements to accommodate the remaining 127 homes on the Bradford Road plot in Ancoats.
Big Red Construction, who are also working on the Peelers Yard building for CERT Property and Myprotein founder Oliver Cookson, are expected to complete phase one by the first quarter of 2026.
Here’s another look at what living space people are already buying up:
The bathroom plans.‘New with the old’ bedroom-designs.A first look inside the Brunswick Mill flats. (Credit: Supplied)
Along with Hodder + Partners as architects, the project team also consists of HW Consultancy who are covering structural aspects, Manchester firm Clancy for mechanical and electrical considerations, as well as AM Pyro as fire engineers.
With property company Orlando Reid serving as estate agents for the project, 42 out of the 153 apartments have already been sold off-plan, with managing director Baljit Arora describing it as “an exciting period for all parties involved and for the city of Manchester”.
This is just the latest chapter in the continued regeneration of the Ancoats and the New Islington areas, which remain two of the most heavily re-developed areas in the city centre and Greater Manchester as a whole. You can see other hot properties in and around the region HERE.