Heathrow runway contract would create ‘countless opportunities’ for Norfolk, says airport boss
- Credit: Nick Butcher
The chief executive of Heathrow airport has visited the Norfolk site that could play a significant role in the development of its third runway.
John Holland-Kaye was in Great Yarmouth on Friday to see whether Peel Ports fits the billing to be one of four construction centres for the expansion, due to begin around 2020.
He was joined at the site by Yarmouth MP Brandon Lewis as well as port director Richard Goffin, who is helping to form a bid that could see tens of thousands of jobs created and a £15bn boost to East Anglia.
“This project would provide countless opportunities for landowners, construction companies, schools and the council to make off-site manufacture a core part of the region’s development plans,” said Mr Holland-Kaye.
“I’ve met with the Norfolk Chamber of Commerce and the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) to encourage them to get behind the bid from Peel Ports; if the region has a clear bid which makes the most of local skills, there could be a really exciting proposal.
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“This would not only create thousands of skilled jobs in the region for the runway, but also for future construction projects across the UK.”
The airport boss’ trip to Norfolk is part of a nationwide tour, during which the suitability of 65 potential logistics hubs is assessed ahead of the longlist being whittled down for the next round of the process.
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If Yarmouth is eventually selected, the seaside town will form a base for the pre-assembly of the expansion’s various components.
“While this project would of course generate direct jobs in construction for Great Yarmouth, it would also bring a supply chain with it,” added Mr Lewis.
“More businesses would be inspired to come to the area because when you’re on that national stage and you’ve got Heathrow talking about you, it just raises your profile.
“The third river crossing and the eventual dualling of the A47 will be of huge benefit, but there’s plenty of other infrastructure that needs to be sorted before making and delivering our business case.”
Mr Goffin added: “With this bid we’re really trying to capture long-term benefits for the region and, in addition to that, the recent emphasis on dualling the A47 is something that will benefit generations to come.”