Ten Scottish sites are in the running to host a logistics hub which will participate in the off-site construction a new runway for Heathrow Airport, generating 16,000 new jobs in Scotland.

Representatives from Heathrow Airport will head to Scotland to progress its search for the Scottish hub, which was guaranteed as part of a key commitment in Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed with the Scottish Government

The hub wims to help ensure that Scotland plays a key part in the airport’s supply chain, enabling Britain’s new runway to deliver a legacy of construction excellence for the nation and spreading £17 billion in economic benefits across the country.

The Heathrow delegation will start the Scottish tour by surveying four sites, Westfield, Rosyth Business Park, Forth Ports Rosyth and Longannet this week. During each tour, the prospective bidders will have the opportunity to demonstrate the strengths of their proposal and the delegation will visit all longlisted locations in the first half of 2018. All will be assessed on suitability, efficiency and accessibility credentials before successful bids progress to the next round. Scotland is the only area which is guaranteed a Logistics Hub as part of a commitment outlined in Heathrow’s MoU.

Heathrow expansion is a critical national infrastructure project for the UK that will rely on talent from across Scotland. The project is expected to deliver up to £17bn in economic benefits and 16,000 jobs across the country. 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 infrastructure companies to explore how the final sites could be used for future projects, creating a long-lasting legacy for Britain.

In addition to this, SMEs across Scotland will also have the opportunity to attend one of Heathrow’s Business Summits in Glasgow on September 10 – another key MoU commitment. These summits offer small business across the country the opportunity to become part of the many opportunities that Heathrow expansion will bring. On the day, Scottish SMEs will have the opportunity to meet with Heathrow’s biggest suppliers during ‘speed-dating’ appointments. The event is being held in partnership with the Scottish Chambers of Commerce.

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 will deliver for Scotland and these Logistics Hubs and Business Summits are instrumental in our aim to ensure that expansion spreads the potential £17bn in economic benefits across the nation. Working in partnership with the Scottish Government, we’re working to deliver an expansion plan that strengthens Scotland. The airport has worked hard to support domestic routes to four different Scottish Cities and looks forward to seeing the nation play a key role in this crucial project.”

Liz Cameron, chief executive of Scottish Chambers of Commerce, said: “A guaranteed Heathrow Logistics Hubs in Scotland ensures that Scottish businesses of all sizes will benefit from supply chain opportunities that an expanded Heathrow will bring. The longlist of ten Scottish sites demonstrates the quality and calibre of our business base, primed and ready to secure jobs and boost economic growth for Scotland.

“Heathrow is already hugely supportive of SMEs, including providing Business Summits to connect them to top suppliers as well as grants to help them find new export opportunities, supporting jobs at home. More broadly, Heathrow expansion will bring up to £17bn in economic benefits in Scotland alone – it is of vital importance that this project is delivered to unlock growth across Scotland.”

Source: www.scottishconstructionnow.com, 9 March 2018