Later today, MPs will vote on the expansion of Heathrow Airport.
The project which has 50 years in the making has the potential to create thousands of high-paying jobs across the country, including the West Midlands.
Earlier this year, two sites in Telford at Hortonwood and Donnington were shortlisted to become Logistic Hub locations for construction and manufacturing to help the airport deliver its expansion plan. Out of sixty-five locations, four sites are to be chosen as construction hubs which will be used to pre-assemble components for Heathrow’s expansion, bringing hundreds of jobs to the area.
It will be the first time a major UK construction scheme has used offsite construction hubs, ensuring that 60% of procurement spending for expansion will be outside London.
The Transport Secretary, Chris Grayling, has said that any possible expansion will be governed by key pledges which include, no cost to the taxpayer as the new scheme will be privately funded, giving the country a massive economic boost by creating 100,000 new jobs and increasing connectivity in the UK with 15% of new slots allocated for domestic routes and opportunities for business.
The Transport Secretary has also made a commitment to environmental protection by delivering the expansion within existing climate change and air quality obligations and a new six and a half hour ban on scheduled night flights. These pledges come with legal protection and are punishable with fines or grounded planes if broken.
If the vote passes today, the next step will be for developers to bring forward detailed proposals for development consent which will be scrutinised by an independent Examining Authority.
Commenting, Lucy Allan said:
“I am pleased to support the Government on this very exciting expansion plan at Heathrow.
“Not only will it create skilled jobs in Telford, if we are successful in being selected as one of the Logistic Hub locations, but it will equip our hub airport with the capacity it needs for the future.
“I want to see Britain and in particular the West Midlands remain a strong global player post-Brexit, and expanding Heathrow airport will ensure that business will have more and better trading opportunities in new and emerging markets.”