An airport used by thousands of Huddersfield people to jet off to the sun is to get a massive boost.
Manchester Airport today outlined its vision how it can help drive the creation of Northern Powerhouse - including better rail links with the likes of Huddersfield.
Councils from across the north, including Kirklees and Calderdale, are working together to create a massive economic market in the region.
Speaking at the opening of the UK Northern Powerhouse Conference at Manchester Central, Manchester Airport’s managing director Ken O’Toole unveiled a new fly-through video showing how the airport will look in 10 years following a £1bn investment.
Subject to planning permission, it will see a state-of-the-art terminal building created through the expansion of the airport’s existing Terminal Two building.
Mr O’Toole said the project will give the whole of the North the “global gateway it deserves.”
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He added his support to efforts to create a Northern Powerhouse, saying: “It is 18 months since the Northern Powerhouse phrase was first coined by Chancellor - and north west MP - George Osborne and some good progress has been made.
“The importance of a strong and vibrant Northern economy is more widely acknowledged than ever before and there can be no doubt there is increased recognition around the world that the North is both an attractive place to visit and to do business with.”
Mr O’Toole said Manchester Airport now has services to more than 210 destinations, with direct flights to Beijing starting with Hainan Airlines in June. It will boost the UK economy by £250m, he added.
But he said there are things Government can do to fully unlock the potential of the Northern economy including looking at using s[pare capacity at Manchester for more flights, rather than looking at Heathrow airport.
Mr O’Toole added there is also a desperate need to get on with connecting the North better with itself.
He gave his backing by the work being done by Transport for the North to create a Northern Powerhouse Rail system, especially high speed East-west rail links serving towns like Huddersfield and Dewsbury.
“Unless access between the major Northern towns and cities and assets like Manchester Airport is also improved, the North will not fully benefit from our growth.”