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East Midlands Chamber News

Explore Industrial Park as Heathrow logistics hub

Laing O’Rourke invited key stakeholders to Explore Industrial Park, Worksop, today to discuss the area’s potential for growth and development, if it is selected as one of three logistics hubs for Heathrow Airport’s third runway project.

The visit brought together leaders from local politics and business for a tour of the offsite manufacturing and logistics facility as well as a roundtable discussion to explore how the sectors could collaborate, what the opportunities are within the region and why Explore Industrial Park would serve as a key partner, to Heathrow’s expansion.

As a logistics hub, Explore Industrial Park has the potential to bring an integrated regional supply chain together to develop and deliver a “kit of parts” that could be manufactured, assembled and transported in sequence to Heathrow’s third runway project; as well as potentially to High Speed 2, Hinkley Point C, East-West rail and other major UK-wide infrastructure projects.

Local politicians including John Mann MP for Bassetlaw and Ben Bradley MP for Mansfield were provided with an insight into how Explore Industrial Park could support regional plans such as the Midlands Engine, D2N2 and Sheffield City Region’s local enterprise partnerships as well as the UK’s Industrial Strategy for Construction, generating a sustainable pipeline of work that would enable growth to SMEs and suppliers in the region.

The Chamber supported the event, highlighting the need for local engagement and provision of a stronger regional skill base and greater number of jobs. Laing O’Rourke’s commitment to the local area and its neighbouring supply chain continues; last year it used 450 suppliers within 100 miles of the facility.

Stephen Harley, Director of Advanced Manufacturing, Laing O’Rourke said: “The visit to Explore Industrial Park comes at a key time for the region, and as one of Worksop’s biggest employers, we wanted to use this as a chance to drive local discussion and collaboration with key stakeholders.

Innovative approaches to construction have received Government backing for some time and it’s vital that major projects such as the Heathrow expansion embrace the technology and work with those who are at the forefront of business, politics and the community.”

Chris Hobson, the Chamber’s Director of Policy, who addressed the group, said: “Heathrow has a huge supply chain involving companies and organisations all over the country which, in turn, sustains thousands of jobs here in the East Midlands and beyond.

“The expansion at the airport will create a raft of opportunities for further jobs creation and it will be at sites like Explore Industrial Park and through Tier 1 elements of the supply chain, such as Laing O’Rourke, that small and medium-sized enterprises can get involved in this nationally-important infrastructure project.

“It will provide a great opportunity for North Nottinghamshire to underline the expertise the area has in offsite construction and it’s also a chance to link major national projects as nearby Staveley, in North Derbyshire, is currently being considered for an integral role in the construction of HS2.”

Lord Deighton, Chairman at Heathrow Airport said: “Heathrow expansion is a once in a generation opportunity to transform the UK construction industry, build for the future and deliver a lasting skills legacy for future generations. All of this comes at a pivotal time for our country, as it prepares itself to leave the EU and where we need to build for our future in both travel and trade.

“An expanded Heathrow is for all of Britain and the logistics hubs are instrumental in our aim to ensure that expansion spreads the huge potential of its £187 billion in economic benefits across the UK, whilst minimising the impact on the airport’s local communities. Off-site construction is an innovative way for these balances to be met and we can’t wait to see for ourselves the opportunity we have in working with the best businesses in the country.”

Heathrow Airport’s expansion will utilise four logistics hubs across the UK, to ensure the project benefits from offsite construction, a method that has the potential to reduce the overall cost of the project by 25%, whilst speeding up delivery by 30%. In the first half of 2018, representatives from Heathrow Airport will be visiting all 65 locations that were longlisted in November 2017.

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