Two Welsh locations have been shortlisted to become 1 of 4 off-site Heathrow Logistics Hubs.
ABP Port of Cardiff and TATA Shotton are among the list of just 18 potential sites, chosen from a total of 121 expressions of interest from across the UK.
The Logistics Hubs, and the benefits of offsite construction and consolidation, have been a key pillar of the case for Heathrow expansion. From the outset, there has been a commitment from the airport to ensuring the Heathrow expansion delivers for every region of the UK.
The use of Logistics Hubs for pre-fabrication and off-site manufacturing will help spread the benefits and the legacy of this national piece of infrastructure across the nations and regions of the UK.
The 2 Welsh locations have already made the cut from the 65-strong longlist, and were visited in the first half of 2018. These shortlisted sites will now be invited to enter a formal tender process this autumn, and to bid to host 1 of the 4 Heathrow Logistics Hubs.
Minister for Economy and Transport Ken Skates said:
“I am delighted that 2 Welsh sites have been shortlisted as potential locations to host logistic hubs and support construction activities as part of Heathrow airport’s expansion programme. Wales offers an ideal location for the logistic hubs and both of the sites, in Shotton and Cardiff, have the ability to respond to the needs of the programme.
“We have a proven track record in the construction and manufacturing sectors, a readily available and highly experienced supply chain and skilled workforce. Welsh logistics hubs would bring huge benefits to the people and businesses of Wales, creating jobs and supply chain opportunities and also leaving a skills legacy for future generations.
“This validates the ambitions set out by the airport to support jobs and opportunities for local people across the UK, developing new skills needed to build and run Heathrow in the future through new apprenticeships and training opportunities within its supply chain.
“I look forward to continuing our work with the site promoters and the Heathrow team in this selection process.”
Speaking at the BCC annual conference 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.”
Bill Duckworth, Tata Steel site manager at Shotton, North Wales, said:
“We are delighted that our Shotton site has been shortlisted as one of the proposed Heathrow expansion 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 of construction materials too.
“We are extremely well connected by land, the road, rail and sea links to the rest of the UK, which is exactly what this landmark project requires. Most importantly, we have the belief to see what this can mean for the economies of Wales and the wider North West region.”
Matthew Kennerley, Director, ABP South Wales, said:
“We are delighted to be on the shortlist to develop one of four off-site Heathrow Logistics Hub. Our port-based site offers excellent multimodal connectivity in the heart of Cardiff, the fastest growing capital city in Europe. As a port owner and operator, we have extensive experience in providing bespoke facilities and services to some of the world’s leading brands and believe that South Wales is an ideal hub location. We look forward to continuing to work closely with Welsh Government and our other stakeholders as we progress with the formal tender process.