Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Third Heathrow Runway Will Give Boost to Region; North East MPs CATHERINE MCKINNELL and PHIL WILSON on Why a Decision Must Be Made Soon to Expand Heathrow Airport

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Third Heathrow Runway Will Give Boost to Region; North East MPs CATHERINE MCKINNELL and PHIL WILSON on Why a Decision Must Be Made Soon to Expand Heathrow Airport

Article excerpt

NEXT week Parliament returns from recess and, while Brexit understandably continues to dominate the headlines, one of the most important decisions we will need to make in the coming months is on a third runway at Heathrow Airport.

As the MPs for Newcastle and Durham Tees Valley Airports, we firmly believe the construction of the third runway is imperative to ensure the North East - with its proud exporting record - is able to maintain connectivity, not only to London, but to the rest of the world. The increased capacity created by a third runway at Heathrow will reverse the trend of declining links between one of the world's major hub airports and the nations and regions of the UK.

And the independent Airports Commission Report, which recommended the construction of the third runway, highlighted that 'around 60% of the overall boost to GDP would be focused on areas of the UK outside the South East.' Clearly, we want our region to benefit from this economic boost and additional global connectivity. We also welcome the attention being paid to the North East by Heathrow as it gears up for the construction of the third runway.

This month, Heathrow Airport and the North East England Chamber of Commerce are hosting a 'business summit' on Tyneside to connect the region's firms with the airport's supply chain, to ensure companies large and small can benefit - not only from additional connectivity as a result of Heathrow expansion, but also from construction of the runway itself.

Heathrow already spends PS1.5bn annually with more than 1,200 suppliers from around the UK. We want to see the North East continue to benefit with an expansion in the number of companies making up the Heathrow supply chain, both through the construction process and afterwards.

It is estimated that expansion at Heathrow could generate more than 100,000 jobs nationally - and 5,000 jobs could be destined for the North East.

We encourage as many local businesses as possible to bid for contracts as they arise, to grow that number further. …

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