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Heathrow: British business will benefit from day one

Heathrow: British business will benefit from day one

In the first major speech from the airport since the government’s decision to back expansion of Heathrow, development director Phil Wilbraham has argued British businesses of all sizes would benefit from the decision from day one.

Speaking at London Build 2016, he announced the airport would begin signing initial contracts with engineers, architects and planning consultants within days and set out Heathrow’s vision to leverage the skills and expertise of British industry across the country.

An expanded Heathrow – which is set to be the largest privately-funded infrastructure project in Europe – will be delivered within a framework which maximises opportunities for British businesses of all sizes.

He outlined the commitments Heathrow has already made to British industry, including:

  • Some 95 per cent of Heathrow’s expansion procurement spend will be with the British supply chain, including 60 per cent outside London.
  • A pledge to follow the new public sector procurement rules regarding steel purchasing, supporting up to 700 skilled jobs in the British steel industry.
  • A commitment to open a number of new supply chain hubs in the UK to help build the new runway, including a site in Scotland.
  • Creation of a Procurement Forum of industry leaders to secure supply chain opportunities across the UK during construction and beyond.

The project will help to address the skills gap and deliver a legacy for generations to come.


By 2030, Heathrow will have doubled the number of apprenticeships across the airport, providing 10,000 young people with airport careers.

The airport has a strong track record of working closely with its UK supply-chain as demonstrated with the construction of Terminal 2, delivered on time and on budget and creating thousands of jobs in infrastructure, engineering and construction.

Speaking at London Build 2016, Phil Wilbraham said: “This decision means the economic taps will be turned on and the British supply chain will benefit.

“We will sign the first contracts within the coming days and week, beginning the process of injecting tens of millions in to the British supply chain and supporting jobs across the UK.

“This will be the first stage of delivery for Britain’s new runway.”

The Airports Commission estimated that a new runway at Heathrow would create up to 180,000 jobs and generate up to £211 billion of economic benefits.