Heathrow has paid numerous Chambers of Commerce around the country to hold events, to drum up business support

Heathrow Airport has spent a lot of time and energy arranging seminars at as many Chambers of Commerce as possible, across the country. Heathrow has offered each Chamber around £3,000 to hold these seminars, where they can pitch their case for a 3rd runway. About 25 Chambers have agreed – costing Heathrow around £75,000 – and given Heathrow their support. However, when approached by Heathrow, the Manchester Chamber of Commerce was not impressed, and declined the seminar offer. The Manchester Chamber speaking for the local business community said there was increasing evidence that there is no need for a larger hub airport, and the UK should instead make better use of the network airports – including Manchester Airport. Manchester council leader Sir Richard Leese described Heathrow’s approach as ‘desperate’. John Holland-Kaye has been speaking at events, spreading the word that only a new Heathrow runway will enable British companies to trade with the rest of the world .. etc etc. He mentions the “need” for a runway, because we “need” to be able to export live Scottish languostines to Singapore …. Truly a “First World Problem.”  Or the “need” to be able to air freight chocolate to Mexico ….. John H-K speech with the source of those lunacies.



Some of the Chambers of Commerce that have held these “One Hub or None” events


Heathrow Backs Business Growth

10 February, 2015  (Heathrow Airport press release)

Heathrow Airport says:

– 32 local Chambers of Commerce in every nation and region across the UK have pledged support for Heathrow expansion

– Only Heathrow can help Britain’s companies do business with the world

– Calls for urgent action once the Commission reports

Heathrow CEO John Holland-Kaye publicly thanked local Chambers of Commerce throughout the UK for their support for expansion at today’s BCC (British Chambers of Commerce) conference.

Addressing an audience of senior business leaders and politicians, Holland-Kaye announced that 32 local Chambers of Commerce representing firms from across the UK have now pledged their support Heathrow expansion. It means that for the first time, local Chambers in every nation and region of the UK are backing Heathrow as the only option that would deliver more jobs and more economic growth, shared more fairly across the UK, than any other option.

Over the last six months, Heathrow has met with most local Chambers of Commerce to understand how it can help members do business with the world, and found a huge appetite to export up and down the country from businesses of all sizes. Yet with the UK’s only hub airport running at full capacity and increasingly unable to add flights to emerging markets, there are many overseas markets that businesses will never be able to get to directly without expansion.

Heathrow Airport says:

Growth at Heathrow would help those businesses by delivering:

– Up to 40 more long-haul destinations
– More freight exports
– More connections to every part of Britain, helping to rebalance the economy
– More competition and choice, leading to better value for passengers

An example of a business which would benefit from Heathrow expansion is Keltic Seafare, which supplies live langoustines from local fisherman to the tables of Michelin star restaurants. They are trying to grow internationally, with potential customers in Singapore.

Ben Murray, Managing Director of Keltic Seafare, said: “Speed is vital for the success of our business. Without a direct flight from Inverness to Heathrow, we have to send a van three hours to Glasgow or fly our product via Amsterdam to access high-value markets abroad, with consequences for the freshness of the seafood. The round-trip adds to our overheads – it is like a day’s work for a person. As an exporter, we need connectivity to keep operating costs down and grow our business around the world.”

Heathrow CEO John Holland-Kaye said:
“I would like to thank the many local Chambers for making your voices heard. You have shown that expanding Heathrow will benefit every size of business, from every sector, in every region and nation in the UK. Heathrow is our main gateway for exporters and their products going to global markets. If air routes are the arteries through which trade flows, then Heathrow, our hub is the UK’s economic heart. We need to make the right choice in our generation to secure the prosperity we have enjoyed for future generations. Let’s choose to be ambitious. Let’s expand Heathrow. Let’s get on with it.”


Notes to editors

[These are various quotes from Chambers of Commerce]:

“Heathrow, which is already operating as a successful hub airport, should be prioritised for expansion,”

-Colin Stanbridge, the chief executive of the London Chamber of Commerce
“We also believe that Heathrow’s proposal recognises the economic importance and potential of all regions of the UK. Highland businesses are increasingly operating competitively in the global market place, and in spite of our unfit for purpose infrastructure, the region has enjoyed consistent economic growth. Nevertheless, this cannot be sustained for much longer without improved connectivity. ”

Stewart Nicol, Chief Executive, Inverness Chamber of Commerce
“Many Northern Irish businesses export around the world directly and through other online retailers and as Heathrow airport does freight, these businesses are reliant on air freight to support their business, as many send next day delivery packages around the world.”

Paul McMahon, Belfast Chamber of Trade and Industry

“After looking at all the options we firmly believe that the option of expanding Heathrow airport is the best option for Welsh businesses.”

Graham Morgan, Director, South and Mid Wales Chamber of Commerce

“Every part of the UK needs access to global markets. An expanded Heathrow will have new rail links to the North, East, South and West. It will be easier for every part of Britain to access global markets and every part of Britain will be a more attractive location for inward investment.”

Plymouth Chamber of Commerce

“Expansion at Heathrow must be permitted at the earliest possible moment. Securing our national hub, a key national asset and a wealth creator for regions such as the North East, allows us to move forward and address the challenges we face and in so doing, help businesses link to and create the opportunities that provide for our quality of life.”

James Ramsbotham, Chief Executive, North East Chamber of Commerce.




John Holland-Kaye speech text about those langoustines etc.               Read …. and weep …….

WHY on earth do we export langoustines to Singapore?  How many seas and oceans are there between Scotland and Singapore, that provide sea food?

WHY on earth is non-perishable chocolate  being air freighted?  It could go by sea.

Are these really the best examples that John Holland- Kaye can muster?  They seem to illustrate just how unnecessary this runway would be – for unnecessary and profoundly unsustainable air freight.  Madness ….  Utter irresponsibility – with no apparent awareness of the environmental consequences.


From the British Chambers of Commerce website, this is how they promote Heathrow events:

Event title

Heathrow Airport – One Hub or None

Chamber name

British Chambers of Commerce

Event type



The British Chambers of Commerce, in association with Heathrow Airport, has organised a national programme of events to hear business opinion on the aviation capacity debate.

New research from Frontier Economics has shown that the lack of capacity at Heathrow is already costing the UK up to £14bn a year in lost trade and this figure could rise to £26bn a year by 2030.

Participants will have the chance to:

•Hear what can be done to close the £14bn trade gap;
•Explore why a hub airport is different and uniquely valuable to the UK;
•Put their questions to Heathrow Airport’s executives;
•Share opinion on how this debate affects local business.






City chief slams Heathrow’s ‘desperate’ attempt to woo Manchester business leaders

23 November 2014

By Charlotte Cox (Manchester Evening News)
Heathrow Airport bosses have approached Greater Manchester business leaders to garner support for expansion in the south-east

Manchester’s town hall bosses have slammed a ‘desperate’ attempt by Heathrow bosses to get support for their expansion plans from Greater Manchester’s business community.

The country’s biggest airport has approached chambers of commerce across the north west offering each around £3,000 to fund events to pitch their case for a third runway.

Their bid is currently being considered by the Airports Commission against an option for Gatwick expansion.

A source at Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce confirmed Heathrow had approached them hoping to woo up to 300 business leaders – but they declined the offer.

But 25 other chambers have agreed – costing Heathrow around £75,000 – before voting to support the country’s biggest hub’s bid for expansion.

Part of Heathrow’s pitch warned of the risk of losing connections from north west cities to Heathrow if expansion didn’t go ahead.

Manchester council leader Sir Richard Leese described Heathrow’s approach as ‘desperate’.

He said: “I don’t think we should be supporting the Heathrow expansion plan.

“I think increasingly, evidence says that we don’t need the hub airport and what we ought to do is make better use of the network airports – including Manchester Airport.

“What you see is both Heathrow and Gatwick increasingly losing the argument and getting increasingly desperate – as shown in this case.”

Manchester council leader Sir Richard LeeseManchester council leader Sir Richard Leese
He added: “From Greater Manchester Chamber’s point of view it’s a very simple argument. Why do our members want to traipse down to London when they can use the airpot round the corner?”

On the chambers who voted to support the Heathrow bid, he added: “It’s right for them to try to gather evidence but I don’t think it’s sensible to come to a decision based on the unbalanced view they will get from Heathrow.”

He added: “Perhaps I ought to write to London Chamber of Commerce to set up a meeting for Manchester Airport.”

A Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce source said: “We were approached by Heathrow Airport to run an event for a number of businesses explaining how the expansion of Heathrow would be good for this region.

“However, we declined that as we believe that flights directly from Manchester Airport would serve the business community within the region better.

“We are not against the expansion of Heathrow but choose to actively support further use of Manchester.”

Charlie Cornish, chief executive of Manchester Airport has blasted the ‘unprecedented’ levels of government funding potentially needed for expanding Heathrow and Gatwick.

Manchester Airport chief executive Charlie Cornish
But MP Graham Stringer, for Blackley and Broughton, said the chamber was wrong to decline Heathrow’s offer.

He said: “Heathrow should get a third runway. The country needs a major hub airport which benefits the whole economy, and as a result Manchester.

“Manchester is not competing with Heathrow. I think Charlie Cornish has made a mistake by changing the policy.

“Constraining Heathrow send trade to France, Holland and Germany and that’s in nobody’s interest. It’s the worst kind of attitude that will damage Manchester.”

A Heathrow spokesperson said: “Heathrow does not decide what routes go where, that is ultimately a commercial decision for the airlines. We have consistently argued however that regional airports should benefit from direct links to Heathrow. Those routes could better connect regional businesses with growth markets around the world, creating jobs and growth across the country.

“It is normal for Chambers to ask for a small amount of money to sponsor an event to help them to cover their costs and allow their members to hear about interesting policy issues. Many other companies and government bodies also do this so they can hear views directly from firms. Sponsorship covers payment for a venue, catering, marketing and arranging the event. We look forward to continuing to engage businesses on an issue which is vital to the economic prosperity of the whole of the UK.”

He added: “We were disappointed not to be able to make our case to businesses in Manchester, but respect the decision of their chamber of commerce to decline.”

25 Chambers that have voted to support expansion at Heathrow

East Lancashire
Kent Invicta
North East
North & Western Lancashire
South Wales
Thames Valley
West London Business
West & North Yorkshire
Kent Channel
West Cheshire & North Wales




Some of the Heathrow  One Hub or None – Breakfast Seminars

 Norfolk Chamber of Commerce event 2013



“Regenerate Pennine Lanchashre” event 2013



Hereford shire and Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce event. May 2014



Dorset Chamber of Commerce. September 2014



North and Western Chamber of Commerce



East Lancashire Chamber of Commerce.  2013



Exeter Chamber of Commerce event.  2013



Liverpool Chamber of Commerce event 2013



…… and so on ……….. many more …………..