South Tees Development Corporation has played host to a VIP delegation from Heathrow as part of its bid to become a logistics hub for the London airport’s proposed expansion.
During the meeting, the airport’s representatives were taken on a tour of the Development Corporation to show the opportunities available at the 4,500-acre area, which includes the former SSI steelworks site.
The team from Heathrow, led by Expansion Programme Director Phil Wilbraham, also met the area’s business stakeholders, including PD Ports, Redcar Bulk Terminal and British Steel.
Logistics hubs will help to make sure that businesses from across the UK can be part of the supply chain for Heathrow’s new third runway. At these hubs, components of the airport will be pre-assembled before being transported to the London site.
Heathrow expansion is considered to be a critical national infrastructure project for the UK that is expected to deliver up to £5billion in economic benefits and 5,100 jobs across the North East.
The visit is part of a tour of all potential logistics hub sites around the country, to assess their suitability.
Ben Houchen, Tees Valley Mayor and Chair of South Tees Development Corporation, said: “This visit shows that even huge companies and projects with the international standing of Heathrow are aware of the potential of our Development Corporation area. By hosting this delegation we have banged the drum for investment and jobs on Teesside and explained why our area would be an ideal location for one of Heathrow’s logistics hubs.
“The Development Corporation is the largest development opportunity in the UK today and has world beating transport links, including the East Coast’s deepest port. A logistics hub would be a huge positive for our area and put us at the forefront of one of the UK’s most significant infrastructure 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 £187billion 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.”