Welsh sites are the perfect choice for Logistics Hubs to host some of the off-site construction for Heathrow’s expansion project, according to Economy Secretary Ken Skates.
Speaking to representatives of Heathrow Airport as part of their visit to Tata Steel Shotton, one of the shortlisted sites, the Economy Secretary said Welsh sites had a huge amount to offer.
He stressed a decision by Heathrow to select a Welsh site as a Logistics Hub would bring huge and transformative benefits to Welsh businesses and communities.
As part of its expansion programme, Heathrow has committed to create four logistic hubs in order to widen the supply chain and ensure the extensive build programme is resilient, sustainable and cost-effective.
This will ensure the economic benefits of the Airport’s expansion are spread more evenly across the UK.
Economy Secretary, Ken Skates said: Today’s event is about promoting all Wales has to offer in helping Heathrow to deliver their ambitious expansion plans.
“Wales really would be an ideal location for one of the Heathrow Logistics hubs. Our proven track record in construction and manufacturing, our readily available and highly experienced supply chain and our skilled workforce all make us a perfect choice.
“And of course the benefits for our businesses and communities would be huge, providing thousands of jobs and injecting millions of pounds into our economy.
This project offers huge opportunities and I am committed to ensuring that the Welsh Government does all it can to bring one of the hubs to Wales.”
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.
“A new Heathrow runway will unlock up to 8,400 new skilled jobs and underpin up to £8bn in growth from construction through to increased tourism and exports for Wales.
“Exploring the possibility of locating a Logistics Hub in Wales is a key part of our commitment to the country as part of our Statement of Intent with the Welsh Government and we’re looking forward to seeing first-hand what the country has to offer.”
Six Welsh Government promoted sites located in Shotton, Cardiff, Deeside, Newport, Ebbw Vale and Bridgend remain in the running to be one of four Heathrow logistic hubs located across the UK.
Once selected, the four logistic hubs will be the location for the offsite construction of the infrastructure for Heathrow’s third runway with each of the hubs expected to deliver huge numbers of jobs and a major economic boost within its area.
Bill Duckworth, Tata Steel site manager at Shotton in North Wales, added: “Our site already produces the best building system products available and would make an ideal choice for one of the proposed Heathrow extension Logistics Hubs.
“This would present an ideal opportunity to work hand-in-hand with Heathrow not just as a hub, but possibly as a major supplier too.
“We have the land, the road, rail and sea links to the rest of the UK required by this landmark project and – most importantly – the belief to see what this can mean for the economies of Wales.”
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