Manchester in the running for multi-million Heathrow contract
Manchester has hosted a delegation from Heathrow Airport as part of a nationwide tour of 65 sites still in the running to be the offsite construction centres for the Heathrow expansion.
MIDAS, Manchester’s inward investment agency, coordinated the delegation’s visit to potential ‘Logistics Hubs’ in Bolton and Rochdale.
Logistics hubs will help ensure that businesses across the UK can form part of the airport’s supply chain, enabling Heathrow’s new runway to deliver a legacy of construction excellence across the UK.
Heathrow representatives will visit eight longlisted sites across the North West region in the next few months, and aim to open a pre-qualification questionnaire process later this year.
During each visit, the prospective logistics hub will have the opportunity to demonstrate the strengths of their proposal.
The expansion at Heathrow is a critical national infrastructure project for the UK that is expected to deliver up to £16bn in economic benefits and up to 15,300 jobs across the North West.
This announcement is the latest major milestone in the delivery of Heathrow expansion, and comes ahead of an expected Parliamentary vote on the policy framework in the first half of this year.
Heathrow is pioneering logistics hubs, where components of the airport will be pre-assembled before being transported in consolidated loads to the airport.
Logistics hubs are essential in ensuring Heathrow expansion delivers for the whole country by spreading jobs, boosting productivity and modernising the construction industry outside of London and the South East.
They will ensure that 60% of procurement spend will be outside of London, spreading the benefits of local investment up and down the country.
As well as the direct benefits, new research from WPI Economics shows that, if adopted more widely, the approach could spur growth in off-site construction and lead to a productivity boost worth £30 billion for the industry outside of London by 2025.
Heathrow’s logistics hubs feature in the Government’s Industrial Strategy, listed as an example of how to develop skills across the UK and create conditions where successful businesses can emerge.
Heathrow has also begun working with other major infrastructure companies to explore how the final sites could be used for future projects.
Lord Deighton, Chairman at Heathrow Airport said: “Heathrow expansion is a once in a generation opportunity to transform the UK construction industry, build for the future and deliver a lasting skills legacy for future generations.
“All of this comes at a pivotal time for our country, as it prepares itself to leave the EU and where we need to build for our future in both travel and trade.
“An expanded Heathrow is for all of Britain and the logistics hubs are instrumental in our aim to ensure that expansion spreads the huge potential of its £187b in economic benefits across the UK, whilst minimising the impact on the airport’s local communities.
“Off-site construction is an innovative way for these balances to be met and we can’t wait to see for ourselves the opportunity we have in working with the best businesses in the country.”
Tim Newns, chief executive officer, MIDAS, Manchester’s inward investment agency, said: “As a longlisted destination, Greater Manchester welcomes this site tour as the next step in Heathrow expansion and the opportunity to transform the UK construction industry.
“We believe Greater Manchester represents an ideal location for one of Heathrow’s logistics hubs.
“Heathrow expansion is a truly national project that will benefit every region by spreading jobs, boosting productivity and boosting the construction industry outside of London and the South East.
“A logistics hub in Greater Manchester would bring huge benefits to local communities and businesses in the North West by creating jobs and supply chain opportunities and leaving a skills legacy for future generations.”
John Searle, director of economy at Rochdale Borough Council, said: “With its exceptional transport links, thriving logistics and manufacturing base and acres of employment space, we know that Rochdale is a fantastic place to do business.
“The fact that Kingsway is being considered for major projects like this shows that it is now being recognised nationally.
“We’ve seen over £55m of investment ploughed into Kingsway Business Park in the last three years, with businesses like JD Sports expanding their base here and new speculative units being built to meet market demand. I look forward to sharing this success story with the delegation today and I’m confident they’ll be impressed with what they see here.”
Interim Director of Place at Bolton Council, Gerry Brough, said: “We believe Logistics North represents an ideal location for one of Heathrow’s logistics hubs and look forward to welcoming the delegation. We have worked very closely with Harworth and together we will be demonstrating all the reasons why it would be an ideal location for one of the hubs.
“Logistics North is the North West’s largest commercial development site. It has been a huge success and we have the likes of Amazon, Aldi, Lidl and MBDA on there. More than 2,000 people are already employed there and the development is expected to deliver around 5,000 jobs when it is completed.
“Getting the Heathrow logistics hub would build on this success and bring even more jobs and benefits to people and businesses in our town and across the region. This is a great opportunity for Bolton to be part of one the UK’s most significant infrastructure projects.”