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Heathrow reveals potential offsite hubs

9 February 2018 | By James Kenny

Patrick Rowney/Dreamstime.com

Heathrow Airport has revealed the longlist of sites that will eventually be chosen to make up its new logistical hubs to build its new runway.

The logistics hubs will participate in offsite construction of Britain’s new runway – mitigating the impacts of construction on communities around Heathrow and spreading economic benefits across the UK.

The list comprises 65 sites and will help ensure that businesses across the UK can form part of the airport’s supply chain.

Heathrow’s expansion will be the first major infrastructure project to use offsite construction sites.

The sites will be used to pre-assemble components of an expanded Heathrow before transporting them in consolidated loads to the airport.

They will ensure that 60% of procurement spend will be outside of London, spreading the benefits of local investment up and down the country. As well as the direct benefits, new research from WPI Economics shows that, if adopted more widely, the approach could spur growth in off-site construction and lead to a productivity boost worth £30bn for the industry outside of London by 2025. 

Airport representatives will visit each site to meet the businesses applying to become a key part of the expansion supply chain strategy. Bidders will not only need to demonstrate engineering expertise, they will also need a skilled and dedicated workforce, capability to collaborate on the nationwide project and good connectivity allowing output to be easily transported to Heathrow.

The 65 sites were longlisted from 121 applications in November 2017. Heathrow representatives will visit all longlisted locations in the first half of 2018 and aim to open a pre-qualification questionnaire process later this year. 

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. 

“An expanded Heathrow is for all of Britain and the logistics hubs are instrumental in our aim to ensure that expansion spreads the huge potential of its £187bn in economic benefits across the UK, whilst minimising the impact on the airport’s local communities.

“Offsite construction is an innovative way for these balances to be met and we can’t wait to see for ourselves the opportunity we have in working with the best businesses in the country.

Sites bidding to become Heathrow airport hubs

Comments

I know that the Committee must have considered the impact on the local infrastructure of this proposed development - the M25 has 7 lanes of heavy traffic around the Heathrow Airport junction. The M25 will need to divert because of the new runway...Plus all these extra articulated lorries from other counties coming in to service the contract. I live under the flightpath (through choice) and I have to leave the area every day for work, I know how congested it already is. Why wasn't Gatwick, with is roads and rail links, selected for an extra runway - perhaps open fields for hundreds of acres were more important than destroying a small village and its community??? I will move from the Heathrow area when this work starts, again through choice, not CPO. Good luck Sipson Village

Martyn Archer, 12 February 2018

I wonder where the expertise is going to be found to firstly, review the sites and the companies to understand their suitability for carrying out offsite manufacture, and then secondly to manage the processes needed for offsite manufacture.
This type of work is very different to onsite construction and has only been carried out by a small number of organisations in the UK to date. Heathrow in the guise of BAA have carried out offsite work before but not on this sort of scale and few of those who were involved at the time still work at Heathrow.

Doug Waters, 13 February 2018

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