Heathrow shortlists 18 offsite construction hubs
Contractors Balfour Beatty and Graham Group have been listed among 18 firms still in the running to operate four offsite construction hubs to help deliver a new runway at Heathrow Airport.
Heathrow announced today that it has whittled the list of potential hubs down from 65 following a nationwide tour which concluded in summer of 2018.
Balfour has put forward the Birch Coppice Industrial Estate in the West Midlands, while Graham hopes that the former Michelin tyre factory in Ballymena in Northern Ireland, which developer Silverwood is turning into an enterprise park, will be selected.
Among the other sites, which vary in size, age and location are Scotland’s largest airport and one of the main ports in Wales.
In the autumn, the 18 shortlisted sites will have the opportunity to pitch to the airport’s bosses for the chance to become one of the final four construction centres, to be announced next year, ahead of work starting in 2021.
Meanwhile, Heathrow is running a series of Business Summits to provide small businesses throughout the country the chance to become part of Heathrow’s supply chain. The 11 summits are spread through various regions, organiesd in conjunction with regional business groups such as Chambers of Commerce, Local Enterprise Partnerships and the Federation of Small Businesses.
Emma Gilthorpe, Heathrow’s executive director for expansion said: “Our expansion plans are progressing apace and continue to be refined thanks to feedback from a wide range of stakeholders. Heathrow is as committed as ever to creating a plan that delivers for every corner of the UK. Logistics hubs are key to achieving that. This innovative approach will be more cost effective, efficient and sustainable, helping to unlock much needed capacity quickly and responsibly.
“Logistics hubs are also integral to harnessing the skills the UK needs post-Brexit. We are working with other major infrastructure projects to see if they might also benefit from these hubs, creating a bright, new future for the UK’s construction sector. One in which we’re better utilising new technology and offsite techniques to spread the benefits of major projects like expansion nationwide.”
Claire Walker, co-executive director at the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), said: “A strong skills base and high-performing infrastructure network are vital to securing the UK’s economic future in the long-term. We are pleased that Heathrow is consulting with so many business communities from the Chamber of Commerce Network to ensure that its expansion plans can benefit the whole of the country.
“We look forward to hearing more of these plans from Heathrow at the BCC Annual Conference.”
The shortlisted hubs: