Thames Valley Berkshire LEP and Enterprise M3 welcome the news that ministers have set out final proposals to back Heathrow expansion. Marking an important milestone in building a global Britain, the government has published the proposed Airports National Policy Statement, backing Heathrow expansion through developing a new north-west runway.
A third runway will address the lack of airport capacity in the South East and give the airport the largest capacity in the UK, supporting the economic growth of the country.
An economic assessment commissioned by the Western Wedge partners* in 2013 highlighted that the expansion of Heathrow would add 35,000 jobs and £3.5 billion of GVA by 2040 to the South East economy. 202 of the top 300 companies in the UK have headquarters within a 25-mile radius of Heathrow. The expansion of the airport will help ensure these companies remain in the area and that Heathrow’s global hub status is secure.
Thames Valley Berkshire LEP Chief Executive, Tim Smith, commented, “The decision to support Heathrow expansion is a positive signal from Cabinet about the UK’s future, global connectivity. As the most productive sub-region in the country, Thames Valley Berkshire’s connectivity is very much its USP and is crucial to maintaining the area’s and UK’s competitive advantage. The LEP has made public its position of support for the expansion of Heathrow since 2012 and this has always been based on sound evidence.”
Enterprise M3 LEP Chair, Dave Axam, said, “Enterprise M3 has been a strong supporter of the sustainable expansion of Heathrow to support the local economy. The Enterprise M3 Area has the largest number of foreign owned companies within its region, and proximity to Heathrow is a major pull. Airport expansion will help retain these key businesses and encourage the economy to flourish.”.
* Thames Valley Berkshire LEP, Enterprise M3 LEP, Buckinghamshire LEP, Oxfordshire LEP and West London Business