Much of the new runway at Heathrow airport may be built in Craigavon, if it is chosen as a new Logistics Hub.
Armagh Banbridge and Craigavon Council met a delegation from Heathrow this week to show them around Silverwood Business Park - one of six sites in the running to become one of four hubs.
Craigavon was one of 65 sites the delegation visited and Council are delighted that it has been added to an elite list of potential hubs.
Heathrow will be the first major infrastructure project in the UK to pioneer the large-scale use of Logistics Hubs – aiming to build as much of the project off-site as possible. The pre-assembling components built off-site will be transported in consolidated loads to Heathrow as they are needed.
Lord Mayor Alderman Gareth Wilson said Silverwood Business Park is an excellent site for a Logisitics Hub. “The central location is ideal for access to a high calibre skilled workforce to enable production of first-rate quality materials as well as a strong transport infrastructure offering ease of export to clients across the globe.
Council, along with Silverwood Property Developments Ltd and Envision Ltd, gave a presentation to the delegation demonstrating the strengths of the location, the suitability for the project and the advantages of the infrastructure including the recent £2.4 million investment boost from the UK government to help drive up broadband speeds and increase digital connectivity across the Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough.
“Our business community is thriving and fast growing. We have a lot to offer in relation to advanced manufacturing and we are extremely proud to have been longlisted for this pioneering project.
“We are committed to developing the economy, attracting inward investment and promoting our potential. It is through projects like this that helps raise our area’s profile on an international stage,” said Chair of the Economic Development and Regeneration Committee, Councillor Joe Nelson.
The Heathrow expansion is set to create up to 5,000 new jobs and generate up to £5 billion of economic benefits across Northern Ireland alone. The Logistics Hubs will play an instrumental part in the project and will help to build strong connections between Northern Ireland and the UK’s only hub airport.
Local SMEs across the borough will also have the opportunity to get involved in this project.
Heathrow will be hosting a Business Summit in Belfast for the first time on Wednesday 20 June 2018. The summit offers small businesses across the country the prospect to become part of the many opportunities that Heathrow expansion will bring. On the day, SMEs will have the chance to meet with Heathrow’s biggest suppliers during ‘speed-dating’ appointments. The event is being held in partnership with the Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce.
For more information on the Heathrow Business Summit call 028 9024 4113 or visit www.heathrowbusinesssummit.co.uk/Visit.