Greater Manchester bids to host World Expo 2025

Ashton Moss Image copyright Google
Image caption Ashton Moss in Tameside has been indentified as a possible location if World Expo came to Greater Manchester

Greater Manchester is bidding to be the host city region for the trade convention World Expo 2025.

The government outlined its ambition to host it last year. It has until 31 October to put the country forward.

Ashton Moss in Tameside has been identified as a "suitable" site to host the global event, Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) said.

The World Expo takes place every five years and Dubai was chosen to host the event in 2020.

'Hugely significant'

The expo is a huge six-month showcase of technology, manufacturing, and culture from across the world.

Representatives of 145 countries attended World Expo 2015 in Milan, which boasted 54 national pavilions at a sprawling site.

Greater Manchester Combined Authority said it was encouraging the government to seize the "opportunity for a global shop window" to demonstrate that the UK is open for business and committed to international trade following the vote to leave the European Union.

Image copyright AFP
Image caption China's exhibit at Expo 2015 in Milan highlighted the country's success in conquering food shortages

Analysis: BBC Political Reporter, Kevin Fitzpatrick

Local politicians feel this bid has huge potential, and you can see why - a billion pounds of investment ahead of more than 20 million visitors, and then a legacy that could last for decades afterwards.

The chosen site in Tameside would see one of the most deprived boroughs in the conurbation receive a huge economic boost.

I'm told that when former Chancellor George Osborne was still in position and championing his plans to support the northern economy, he had indicated that Greater Manchester would become the UK's chosen location for the bid.

But with him now gone, they are seeing this as a test of the new prime minister's commitment to that Northern Powerhouse project.

Image copyright AFP
Image caption Italy's pavilion at Expo 2015 was called "the nursery"

Sir Richard Leese, GMCA lead member for economic strategy, said it was important the government continued to show commitment to the Northern Powerhouse concept.

He added: "It is ambitious. But as the London Olympics, and the Manchester Commonwealth Games before them showed, tremendous economic and social benefits can flow from bold and concerted backing for a big idea."

The 110-ha site at Ashton Moss is less than 10km from Manchester city centre and within 15km of Manchester airport, and has been identified as a Greater Manchester "economic priority".

Councillor Kieran Quinn, GMCA lead member for investment strategy and finance and leader of Tameside Council, said it "made sense to have it here".

"We believe Greater Manchester, and Tameside, can make a compelling case to stage this hugely significant event and it can be a powerful ingredient in the drive to rebalance the nation's economy."

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