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East Midlands Chamber News

Chamber welcomes Cabinet decision on third runway at Heathrow

Reacting to the decision by Cabinet today to back a third runway at Heathrow Airport, Scott Knowles, Chief Executive at East Midlands Chamber (Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire), said: “The decision to build a third runway at Heathrow has been a long-time coming, but it is the right decision for the country and for the East Midlands.

“We would urge MPs to support the Cabinet’s decision and drive this major national infrastructure project forward when they get a chance to vote on it in the next few weeks.

“From the moment that airports expansion was mooted, the Chamber has supported growth at Heathrow in preference to either Gatwick or Stansted. Heathrow is better located for the country and is one the most popular among our members for passenger travel.

“However, we have also said throughout that alongside the provision a third runway there needs to be investment in road and rail connectivity to the airport from the East Midlands and the north of the country generally and we will continue to petition for this.

“While understanding and, to some extent, accepting the London-centric focus of planners and the desire to increase capacity at one of the busiest airports in the world, we maintain that there are distinct advantages to be gained from encouraging long-haul operators to use regional airports, opening up wider international opportunities for regional businesses. We will continue to urge Government to realise this capacity, especially during what will be a lengthy construction period.

“Heathrow has a huge supply chain involving thousands of 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 here in the East Midlands we have hundreds of businesses more than ready to step up to be part of the supply chain for this nationally-important infrastructure project that will show the world that UK plc is open for business despite Brexit.”