Heathrow whittled down 121 applications from sites across the UK to make the final list of 65 and four of the locations will eventually be selected from that list. Tony McDonough reports
Birkenhead shipyard and engineering firm Cammell Laird and the Port of Liverpool are both on the shortlist to provide pre-assembly facilities for the proposed new £16bn third runway at Heathrow Airport.
Heathrow whittled down 121 applications from sites across the UK to make the final list of 65. Four of the locations will eventually be selected from that list.
Those four selected locations will pre-assemble components of the expanded airport before transporting them in consolidated loads to Heathrow.
Two sites owned by Cammell Laird – Campbeltown Road and the MEA Park Wirral Waters in Beaufort Road – as well as the Port of Liverpool in Seaforth are on the list.
Earlier this year Heathrow held a ‘meet the buyer’ event at Liverpool Waters to reveal the opportunities for regional supply chains should the third runway go ahead.
Liverpool John Lennon Airport along with business and political leaders in Merseyside are backing the Heathrow bid hoping it will open up landing slots for lucrative regional air routes. Heathrow has promised to spend £10m on a fund to develop routes to airports across the UK.
However, despite indicating it favours the project, the Government has still to make a final decision. Brexit is dominating its agenda and the Conservatives’ failure to secure an overall majority in the General Election also complicates the issue.
The third runway has a number of opponents on both sides of the House of Commons and the Government may lack the support and the will to push the proposal through.
Nevertheless, the publication of the shortlist was welcomed by Sefton Central Labour MP, Bill Esterson, whose constituency includes the Port of Liverpool.
He said: “Across Merseyside, and in my constituency in particular, we want to help attract high-skill, high- wage jobs so people can get on in life.
“Building Britain’s biggest runway undoubtedly brings supply chain opportunities and Heathrow’s announcement of a long-list for logistics hubs, which includes two sites in Merseyside – Cammell Laird and Peel Ports – means I will be lobbying senior officials to ensure businesses in our area are at the forefront of its plans because we possess the talent and expertise required to make it a success.”
The shortlist also includes four sites in Greater Manchester.