Heathrow reveals 18-strong shortlist of construction sites for third runway expansion

Two NI sites on Heathrow construction list

Two NI sites on Heathrow construction list

From the outset, there has been a commitment from the airport to ensuring the Heathrow expansion delivers for every region of the UK.

The 18 shortlisted sites were unveiled today (Thursday) after a process which has been ongoing over this past number of years.

According to Heathrow, these sites are key to kickstarting the nationwide benefits that the airport expansion will bring - creating jobs and economic opportunities across the United Kingdom, before the "additional trade and tourism that will follow from unlocked runway capacity".

The winners will be announced early next year, with work due to start in 2021.

THE old Shackleton Barracks site near Limavady and the former Michelin plant in Ballymena are among just 16 United Kingdom locations left in the running to be chosen as one of four logistics hub for Heathrow airport in a move that could help provide a productivity boost to construction outside London worth £30 billion.

The hubs will preassemble components for the new developments that will accompany the third runway before transporting them to Heathrow - with the aim of streamlining the construction and minimising the disruption to the airport.

Speaking at the BCC annual conference Emma Gilthorpe, Heathrow's Executive Director for Expansion, said: "Our expansion plans are progressing apace and continue to be refined thanks to feedback from a wide range of stakeholders".

Logistics hubs, and the benefits of offsite construction and consolidation, have been a key pillar of the case for a proposed £16 billion expansion at Heathrow.

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"Heathrow is as committed as ever to creating a plan that delivers for every corner of the UK". This innovative approach will be more cost-effective, efficient and sustainable, helping to unlock much needed capacity quickly and responsibly. "I look forward to seeing the delivery of Heathrow's expansion plans so that Northern Ireland can boast of increased connectivity as a result of further, forward thinking investment".

"Logistics hubs are also integral to harnessing the skills the United Kingdom needs post-Brexit", she added.

Scunthorpe MP Nic Dakin: "The benefits of a Heathrow Logistics Hub in Scunthorpe would be felt across the whole region and I wholeheartedly believe this area cannot only deliver a first-class location but the exemplary levels of skills and service Heathrow requires". "One in which we're better utilising new technology and offsite techniques to spread the benefits of major projects like expansion nationwide".

UK Steel director General Gareth Stace: "As one of the UK's largest infrastructure projects, the Heathrow expansion is a hugely important prospective for steel producers. We encourage all private infrastructure projects to copy this example".

Bosses at both British Steel and Severfield welcomed the news.

"A logistics hub in Ballykelly would bring huge benefits to people and businesses in not only the north west but across Northern Ireland, creating jobs and supply chain opportunities and leaving a skills legacy for future generations".

We are extremely well connected by land, the road, rail and sea links to the rest of the United Kingdom, which is exactly what this landmark project requires.

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