Welsh companies will have every opportunity to benefit from the construction of Heathrow’s third runway, Economy Secretary Ken Skates has pledged.
The Cabinet Secretary has announced that Wales will host a second Heathrow Business summit next year to ensure that Welsh companies are well positioned to secure contracts associated with the new runway’s construction.
And he has also warmly welcomed news that seven Welsh Government promoted sites located in Cardiff, Deeside, Newport, Ebbw Vale and Bridgend are still in the running to be Heathrow logistic hubs.
Once selected, the four logistic hubs positioned across the UK will be the location for the offsite construction of the infrastructure for Heathrow’s third runway. Each of the hubs is expected to deliver huge numbers of jobs and a major economic boost within its area.
The plans for logistics hubs are part of a wider commitment by Heathrow to use their expansion to revolutionise the way the UK builds major infrastructure and to spread the economic benefits of the project right across the country.
The Heathrow expansion is the first major infrastructure project that will pioneer the large-scale use of logistics hubs to distribute the economic benefits.
Economy Secretary, Ken Skates said:
“The construction of Heathrow’s third runway offers huge economic opportunities for businesses right across the UK and I am determined that Welsh companies will be given all the help and support they need to be right at the heart of this significant infrastructure development.
“With this in mind I am pleased to confirm that next year the Welsh Government will be hosting a second Heathrow business summit, with the specific intention of bringing large suppliers and smaller businesses together to help them secure some contracts associated with the new runway.
“I am also really encouraged that seven Welsh Government backed sites remain in the running to be one of the four Heathrow logistic hubs.
“Securing the location of one of those hubs here in Wales would be a significant achievement, bringing with it huge economic benefits, and the Welsh Government will continue to do all it can behind the scenes to promote the Welsh sites.”
Lord Deighton, Heathrow’s Chairman, added:
“Heathrow’s third runway will rely on talent from all over Britain helping to create a national asset for generations to come. This means new procurement opportunities for businesses in every region and nation, helping drive growth and investment into local communities in all corners of this country.
“The third runway is not a London centric project – it is one we are opening up to the whole of the UK, asking for its skills and expertise to help build an asset this country so desperately needs to safeguard its future prosperity.”
Next year’s Heathrow Business Summit in Cardiff will take place on 11 July 2018. It will ensure that businesses across Wales can find out about the opportunities available to them when building of Britain’s new runway starts. The event, which we be hosted jointly by the Welsh Government and Heathrow Airport will be made up of ‘speed-dating’ style appointments between SMEs and Heathrow’s biggest suppliers.