Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne has unveiled his £650m plan for the UK's first 'Airport City' in Manchester.

The project, which is set to create over 20,000 jobs in the next 15 years, will be split into two zones featuring hotels, offices and retail in one and while the second will focus on freight and logistics uses and will be created next to the airport's existing cargo centre.

"Airport City is a concept we have been developing for a number of years and we are now at a critical stage in the project's life as we bring it to the market and commence phase one," said Charlie Cornish, Chief Executive of Manchester Airports Group (MAG).

"We were enthused by the Government's recognition of Airport City's potential when it was named as the focal point of their new Enterprise Zone, as we feel that this project presents a generational opportunity not only for the wider region, but nationally in order to attract new investment to the UK during the economic downturn."

When the 150-acre Airport City is fully complete, there will be 1.5m sq ft of offices, 650,000 sq ft of advanced manufacturing space, up to 100,000sq ft of retail and leisure units, around 2,500 hotel beds and 1.4m sq ft of logistics and warehousing units.

Since the enterprise zone designation in March 2011, there has been a huge amount of interest in this project - of the hundreds received, around 60 are considered to be potential occupiers - and around a quarter of those are currently progressing and in discussion with MAG about locating at Airport City.

"Airport City will fill the gap in the market that currently exists for a high quality and well-connected environment for businesses that need access to a major British city and to a global marketplace," said Manchester city council leader Sir Richard Leese.