Heathrow is creating four regional support hubs, in various locations, in order to spread the economic benefits of their expansion around the UK.
We submitted an expression of interest in turning the former Alcan site at Lillyhall into a ‘Heathrow Hub’ on behalf of our supply chain and local stakeholders, including Cumbria’s Local Enterprise Partnership, Allerdale Borough Council, Copeland Borough Council, Britain’s Energy Coast Business Cluster, Sue Hayman MP (Workington) and Trudy Harrison MP (Copeland).
If successful the site could be used as a base for logistics, manufacturing and construction. It has already made the ‘long-list’ after initial expressions of interest were whittled down from 121 to 65.
A delegation from Heathrow has been visiting each of the 65 sites over several months – today was our turn. As well as the Alcan site, the delegation visited the Port of Workington.
Our head of community and development, Jamie Reed, and our head of community relations, Gary McKeating, hosted the visit, which was also attended by stakeholders including Sue Hayman, Mark Fryer, deputy leader of Allerdale Borough Council, Pat Graham, the Chief Executive of Copeland Borough Council and John Grainger, from Britain’s Energy Coast Business Cluster.
What has Heathrow’s expansion got to do with Sellafield?
Creating resilient economies is one of the objectives of our Social Impact Strategy – that means we’ve made a commitment to helping drive new economic opportunities for the region (as well as increasing the scale, diversity and development of existing sectors).
In short that means that we have a strategic aim to help improve the short and long term economic prospects of the region – and an opportunity like the one presented by Heathrow’s expansion could have a significant and sustainable positive impact.
What happens next?
Heathrow will take some time to further consider the next steps, and will come back to those long-listed to seek more information and invite formal bids after shortlisting.
If successful we’ll work in collaboration with partners in West Cumbria to develop a formal bid.