Representatives of Heathrow Airport last week visited Tata Steel Shotton, which has been shortlisted by Heathrow Airport as one of the shortlisted sites for four planned logistics hubs to widen the supply chain for the Heathrow Airport expansion, with the aim of ensuring the extensive build programme is resilient, sustainable and cost effective.
The regional hubs will also ensure the economic benefits of the Airport’s expansion are spread more evenly across the UK, and Welsh Economy Secretary, Ken Skates is keen to ensure that Wales is home to one of the hubs.
Mr. Skates says:
“Wales really would be an ideal location for one of the Heathrow Logistics hubs. Our proven track record in construction and manufacturing, our readily available and highly experienced supply chain and our skilled workforce all make us a perfect choice.. this project offers huge opportunities and I am committed to ensuring that the Welsh Government does all it can to bring one of the hubs to Wales.”
Lord Deighton, Chairman at Heathrow Airport said:
“A new Heathrow runway will unlock up to 8,400 new skilled jobs and underpin up to £8bn in growth from construction through to increased tourism and exports for Wales. Exploring the possibility of locating a Logistics Hub in Wales is a key part of our commitment to the country as part of our Statement of Intent with the Welsh Government and we’re looking forward to seeing first-hand what the country has to offer.”
Six Welsh Government promoted sites located in Shotton, Cardiff, Deeside, Newport, Ebbw Vale and Bridgend remain in the running to be one of four Heathrow logistic hubs located across the UK.
Once selected, the four logistic hubs will be the location for the offsite construction of the infrastructure for Heathrow’s third runway with each of the hubs expected to deliver huge numbers of jobs and a major economic boost within its area.
Bill Duckworth, Tata Steel site manager at Shotton in North Wales, said:
“Our site already produces the best building system products available and would make an ideal choice for one of the proposed Heathrow extension 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 too.
“We have the land, the road, rail and sea links to the rest of the UK required by this landmark project and – most importantly – the belief to see what this can mean for the economies of Wales.”
Director Leighton Price of Heavy Haulage specialists Trojan-Mek welcomed the news, but said one of the South Wales locations would make more sense:
“I applaud the Secretary’s decision to champion Wales as a great location for one of the Heathrow Airport expansion hubs, although in our opinion, one of the South Wales locations would make most sense.
“While Trojan-Mek already cover the Shotton area, South Wales has the benefit of easy access to South Wales ports, and is conveniently close to the Severn Bridge with a direct link to London via the M4. The region already has a wide range of logistics businesses, who support South Wales’ manufacturing and construction expertise. Logistics companies are used to servicing many of the large businesses in the area.
“However, even if it’s in Shotton, winning one of the hubs would be a great coup for Wales and I am pleased we have the Welsh Government’s support. This won’t only benefit Wales economically, but will showcase our expertise to the rest of the UK.”