Bristol region bidding to become one of 4 construction partners in Heathrow expansion
Heathrow announced in April that it planned to have four construction hubs to allow components of its 3rd runway expansion project. These logistics hubs would pre-assemble components for the proposed building work before transporting them to the airport. Heathrow claims this will make the project cheaper, and provide some jobs and some economic benefits to other parts of the country. Now Bristol is hoping to be one of these hubs. The West of England Combined Authority (Weca) – which includes Bristol, B&NES and South Gloucestershire – has placed a bid to be one of the hubs. The announcement was made by Metro Mayor Tim Bowles at a Weca meeting on 26th July where he revealed he had recently met with CEO of Heathrow, John Holland-Kaye. The earliest that work on the 3rd runway expansion could start would be 2020, and there are many hurdles for the project to get through first. Bristol hopes it has a good chance of being selected, as it is not too far from London and has strong port, rail and road links. The Metro Mayor is keen for the potential partnership to be about more than just physical materials, he would also like the West of England to contribute to the technological development of the airport. A shortlist of candidates to be hubs is expected to be published later this year.
Bristol region bidding to become partner in Heathrow Airport expansion
If secured, the hub status could bring hundreds of jobs to the West of England
BY ESME ASHCROFT
The Bristol region is vying to become a key partner in the expansion of Heathrow Airport – which could bring hundreds of jobs and millions of pounds to the local economy.
The West of England Combined Authority (Weca) – which includes Bristol, B&NES and South Gloucestershire – has placed a bid to become one of four ‘regional logistic hubs’ to help service works at the county’s largest airport.
The announcement was made by Metro Mayor Tim Bowles at a Weca meeting on Wednesday where he revealed he had recently met with CEO of Heathrow, John Holland-Kaye.
Mr Bowles said: “The development of Heathrow will take place over years and years and years and be billions of pounds. We are trying to drive some of that money in to our region so that we can see a benefit from that work that is going on.”
Central government decided to back plans for a third runway at Heathrow last summer and is expected to vote on the proposal by the end of the year. If approved, the airport aims to start the £16 billion project in 2020 to be completed by 2025.
Bristol region bidding to become Heathrow Airport ‘logistics hub’
As part of the expansion airport bosses have said they would look to secure four regional construction hubs which would be responsible for making and building pre-assembled components to be transported to the capital.
The Bristol region is in a strong position to win one of the contracts thanks to its close proximity to London and strong port, rail and road links.
Mr Bowles said: “When I was with [Mr Holland-Kaye] we got talking about his ambitious plans for the development and within that we started talking about the literal infrastructure which it is building and the work that needs to go on and how they are not going to be able to develop Heathrow out by having all of that operation right there.
“Here in the West of England we are doing this type of work already with the port and as a regional hub and with our brilliant infrastructure network – road, rail and so on – we have the ambition to be an area that can start helping with that construction of Heathrow.”
And the Metro Mayor is keen for the potential partnership to be about more than just physical materials, he would also like the West of England to contribute to the technological development of the airport.
He added: “Bear in mind we are not just talking bricks and motor, we keep talking about how we are innovation leaders. Think about how an airport of the future might look. We have got loads of innovation aspects that we can drive through it by making the region a partner in how that development takes place.”
The deadline for areas to apply to be considered as a regional logistics hub for the Heathrow expansion is Monday, July 31.
A shortlist of candidates is expected to be published later this year.
Heathrow plans 4 regional construction hubs for proposed runway, to give the impression of spreading jobs around UK
Four UK construction hubs are being sought by Heathrow to allow components of its £16bn expansion project to be built away from the airport. The logistics hubs will pre-assemble components for the proposed 3rd runway before transporting them to the airport. Heathrow claims this will make the project cheaper, and provide some jobs to other parts of the country. This form of construction may have been used in the housebuilding sector but had only had a “limited” role in major British infrastructure projects. The areas to have these construction hubs need to have good connectivity (road, rail?), have “a relevant supply chain and strong local skills”. Areas need to apply by July 31st, with a list of potential sites expected to be announced later this year. The airport can only start submitting its development consent order if the NPS is voted for in Parliament, and if the government wins the legal challenges. That could not be before spring 2018. Heathrow hopes, perhaps unrealistically, to have its runway built and working by 2025. Heathrow says it has used off-site locations before, with large parts of the structural steelwork for Terminal 2 building constructed in Yorkshire and Lancashire. In October 2016 the Scottish government said: “Heathrow will work with the Scottish Government to investigate Glasgow Prestwick Airport as a potential site for a logistics hub to support the building of the third runway.” No mention of that now?