Two Telford sites have been selected by Heathrow Airport as potential logistics hubs, ensuring businesses across the UK can form part of the airport’s supply chain for expansion.
Land at Hortonwood and Telford’s Rail Freight Terminal are among five West Midlands sites featuring in the longlist of Logistics Hubs, another delivery milestone for the airport.
A total of 65 sites are being considered by Heathrow following a commitment made by the airport to shake-up the UK construction industry by using expansion to revolutionise the way Britain builds major infrastructure.
Vice-chairman of the Marches LEP, Paul Hinkins, along with West Midlands Mayor, Andy Street and other senior LEP representatives from across the country met with Heathrow Chair Lord Deighton to discuss the Logistics Hubs earlier this year.
Lord Deighton said: “As the UK leaves the EU, Heathrow is an essential infrastructure project that will ensure Britain remains an open trading nation.
“As part of that, Heathrow’s third runway will rely on talent from all over Britain helping to create a national asset for generations to come. This means new procurement opportunities for businesses in every region, helping drive growth and investment into local communities in all corners of this country.
“The third runway is not a London centric project – it is one we are opening up to the whole of the UK, asking for its skills and expertise to help build an asset this country so desperately needs to safeguard its future prosperity.”
Paul Hinkins added: “We are delighted that two of the sixty five potential sites featuring in the longlist of logistics hubs are in this region. We have shovel-ready land here in Telford as well as an existing logistics facility at the Rail Freight Terminal which holds tremendous potential.
“The logistics hubs aim to stimulate growth across the UK, and there’s no doubt that having one of them in Telford would deliver fantastic supply chain opportunities for our small and medium-sized businesses in the Marches.
“This expansion will help deliver 10,000 apprenticeships at Heathrow and the supply chain to 2030, helping young people in the local community into secure, quality jobs, and creating a highly skilled future generation.”
Four locations will be selected once finalised and will pre-assemble components of the expanded airport before transporting them in consolidated loads to Heathrow, playing a key role in supporting the expansion’s efficient delivery.
Heathrow’s expansion is the first major infrastructure project in the UK to pioneer the large-scale use of logistics hubs, and Britain’s new runway will create jobs in every corner of the UK. The hubs will also create a legacy of construction excellence in the UK for future generations.
The Logistics Hubs also tie directly into Heathrow’s commitments on sustainability, by reducing emissions through transporting assembled components to site in fewer lorries. This approach will help deliver expansion faster, more affordably and will minimise impact on local communities.