Scottish SMEs to lay the foundations for Heathrow expansion

Scottish SMEs to lay the foundations for Heathrow expansion

Businesses across Scotland are being told to mark their diaries for a second Heathrow Business Summit Scotland, set for 18th October in Edinburgh.

The free Business Summit Scotland is part of the airports pledge to create jobs in every corner of the UK and will deliver on a commitment outlined in Heathrow’s MoU signed with the Scottish Government.

Businesses who register will have a unique chance to meet face-to-face with Heathrow’s biggest suppliers and win contracts at one of the world’s largest airports, as it prepares the groundwork for its multi-billion-pound expansion project.

The event, hosted in partnership with Scottish Chambers of Commerce, will consist of speed-dating style sessions of interviews with procurement managers representing businesses based at the airport.

Forging meaningful in-person connections, Scottish SMEs will have the chance to win business at Heathrow and gain strong credentials which they can leverage on other projects both in the UK and internationally.

Communities and businesses across Scotland are forecasted to gain up to £14.1 billion and see up to 16,100 new jobs created from an expanded Heathrow.

That all starts with planning for the construction of a new Supply Chain Hub in Scotland where materials for Heathrow’s new runway will be pre-assembled and sent to the airport in consolidated loads – another key commitment from Heathrow.

Heathrow Expansion programme director Phil Wilbraham said: “As a historic trading nation, Scotland has always been at the forefront of ingenuity, innovation and export.

“We’ve seen many Scottish based businesses deliver for construction of Terminal 2 and we want even more of these businesses to work on our expansion plans.

“That’s why I’m delighted we're heading back up to Scotland with 20 of our biggest suppliers, including Atkins and Balfour Beatty so that we can continue to tap into the pipeline of expertise, strengthen our links with business, and deliver on our commitments to Scotland as outlined in the MoU.”

SMEs already play a crucial role in Heathrow’s supply chain – the airport spends over £1.5 billion annually with more than 1,200 suppliers from around the UK – and there are significant opportunities for more regional businesses to supply the UK’s biggest airport not only today but in the future.

Heathrow is starting work on its expansion plans in what is the largest privately funded infrastructure project in the UK and a more diverse supply chain is critical to delivering it on time and on budget.

Cabinet Secretary for Economy, Jobs and Fair Work Keith Brown said:

“One of the key benefits of expansion at Heathrow is the major investment and job creation opportunities it will bring to Scottish firms.

“This summit will give Scottish businesses direct access to the airport’s biggest suppliers, with a view to them winning important contracts during this massive infrastructure project.

“It is also very pleasing to see planning work for the logistics hub in Scotland get underway.

“This is a real opportunity for our companies to showcase their skills and expertise, and will help them forge important links with key players in Heathrow’s supply chain.”

As agreed in the Memorandum of Understanding with the Scottish Government, Heathrow will work with the Scottish Government to locate a new Supply Chain Hub in Scotland where materials for Heathrow’s new runway will be pre-assembled.

President of Scottish Chambers of Commerce Tim Allan added:

“It is great to see the Heathrow Business Summit return to Scotland for a second year, showcasing real opportunities and giving Scottish SMEs the chance to cement relationships and forge new connections.

“Having been confirmed to host one of Heathrow’s key logistics hubs, now, more than ever, Scotland must come together to secure jobs and pave the way for future generations.”

The Business Summit Scotland is part of a suite of regional events that will complement Heathrow’s flagship Summit which is now in its 21st year and takes place at the airport each November.