MAG (Manchester Airports Group) has appointed McLaren to build a warehouse and logistics facility on the site of a former WWII aircraft hangar at Manchester Airport’s World Freight Terminal, for global airport services provider dnata.

The airside design-and-build project, which will be known as ‘dnata City North’, incorporates the construction of a 145,000sqft facility with an integrated two-storey office space. Designed by architect RPS, dnata’s new facility will set a new quality benchmark for air cargo handling and warehousing.

McLaren will manage the Cat B fit out of 20,000sqft of dnata-branded office space and will oversee external drainage and landscaping works. During the design process virtual reality technology was used to future-proof the building and ensure the scheme satisfies dnata’s future requirements. The facility will include flexible office accommodation, providing an innovative mixture of workspace and meeting facilities, as well as breakout spaces and a fitness suite.

David Murphy, Managing Director – Operations at McLaren, said: “By working closely with MAG Property, the property and development arm of MAG, and dnata at the earliest stage of this project, it became evident that attention to detail and strong management of construction schedules and logistics will be crucial to the success of this project. By leveraging our close relationships with our supply chain partners and focusing on MAG’s specific business drivers, we have been able to develop an effective and robust plan for the design and build of dnata’s new logistics warehouse and office space.”

“We are understandably delighted to be working with MAG Property and dnata – we have extensive experience in delivering warehouse and distribution facilities, both in the UK and in the UAE, and we look forward to collaborating further with both organisations to build a high-quality facility.”

Jonathan Haigh, MAG Property’s Managing Director, said, “We are delighted to be collaborating with dnata on this exciting project. The scale of dnata’s ambition and longevity of commitment rightly called for our assembly of this prime site and for a suitably impressive scheme to fully exploit its potential. From master planning to transaction execution, it’s been a great example of how we blend our airport operations knowledge with real estate development expertise and work hard and with skill for our customers. Together with our dedicated professional and principal contractor, McLaren, we are thrilled to progress to the delivery phase.”

dnata UK Chief Executive Gary Morgan said, “We’ve worked closely with MAG Property and the design team to ensure that dnata City North is able to adapt to the dynamic industry in which we operate, as well as providing our staff with a quality working environment. We’re all looking forward to moving into our new facility at the end of the summer next year.”

Particularly well situated for ease of airfield access, the new facility will allow dnata to consolidate and grow its Manchester operations with capacity to handle over 150,000 tonnes per annum. The new facility will become operational in late summer 2020 and stands to benefit from the airport’s ongoing £1 billion transformation programme.