Thursday, May 24, 2018

News: Heathrow delegation lands in SCR

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A delegation from Heathrow Airport is visiting the Sheffield City Region (SCR) as part of a nationwide tour of potential construction centres to support the airport's expansion.

Rothbiz reported in 2017 that two former colliery sites in Rotherham have made it onto a longlist of 65 "Logistic Hub" locations – off-site centres for construction and manufacturing which will help Heathrow Airport deliver its expansion plan.

Eight sites in the SCR have made the longlist of 65 including 31 East, the remaining land on the reclaimed Dinnington colliery, and the site of the former Maltby Colliery that was mothballed in 2013.

During each visit, the prospective Logistics Hub will have the opportunity to demonstrate the strengths of their proposal. The delegation will visit all longlisted locations in the first half of 2018, assessing their suitability before putting successful bids through to the next round.

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Dan Jarvis, mayor of the Barnsley, Doncaster, Rotherham and Sheffield Combined Authority, said: "It's great news that we as a city region have more shortlisted sites than any other region in the UK. This is testament to our super-connected location and our excellence in advanced engineering, manufacturing and logistics.

"During these visits, we will be demonstrating all the reasons why we think our sites would be an ideal location for one of Heathrow's Logistics Hubs. Not only do we already have the infrastructure in place, but our city region is home to a skilled workforce with a strong heritage of manufacturing and industry. Key to this is the AMRC training centre, widely regarded as a centre of excellence in producing apprentices ready to enter careers in engineering and manufacturing.

"This is a great opportunity for us as a city region to be part of one the UK's most significant infrastructure projects. We welcome the potential boost in jobs and economic growth that a Logistics Hub could bring and look forward to showcasing our sites to the delegation."

The London airport, the largest in the UK and one of the biggest in the world, received Government support for expansion so that the need for additional capacity in the south-east of England will be met by a new north-west runway at Heathrow.

As part of the expansion, which has an estimated cost of £17.6bn, four logistic hubs will be located across the country as the airport pledges to shake-up the UK construction industry by using expansion to revolutionise the way Britain builds major infrastructure.

Aiming to build as much of the project off-site as possible, the hubs will work by pre-assembling components off-site before transporting them in consolidated loads to Heathrow just as they are needed.

During the visit, the Heathrow delegation will also visit the University of Sheffield's Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) with Boeing, and meet with representatives from the SCR and the Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP).

The SCR submitted bids because we believe we are a site of national logistics and engineering excellence and have the knowledge, infrastructure and quality to deliver.

Site options put forward include locations with rail connectivity to London and other regional logistics hubs, while there are also six world-class universities and research capabilities within a one-hour drive. These include the AMRC, which is the leading engineering research and training facility in the UK.

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Rachel Clark, director of trade and investment at SCR, said: "Working in partnership with the public and private sector, SCR is already achieving transformational change and building a thriving, successful, economy.

"Our vision is focused on rebalancing the North- South divide and spreading the benefit of major UK infrastructure projects to regenerate our region. I know the quality exists here to make a success of significant investments such as this, and am hopeful that we will be selected as one of the final four locations.

"We are looking forward to working closely with Heathrow on this exciting project which could give a massive boost to our local economy on the back of our recent inward investment successes."

SCR website

Images: Hargreaves

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