Press release

Phase one of £150 million Luton Airport transformation completed

Liam Fox announces completion of first stage of London Luton Airport's transformation at business forum during the King of Spain's state visit.

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  • major milestone reached in the £150 million transformation of London Luton Airport (LLA)
  • International Trade Secretary welcomes King of Spain to UK-Spain Business Forum at Mansion House – London
  • business forum brings together more than 250 senior business delegates from across the UK and Spain to strengthen trade and commercial ties between the 2 countries

Today (Thursday 13 July), International Trade Secretary Dr Liam Fox welcomed the completion of the first phase of the £150 million transformation of London Luton Airport (LLA), during a speech at the ‘UK-Spain Business Forum’ in London.

LLA, which is operated by Spanish company AENA, in partnership with Ardian, a major European investor is currently undergoing the biggest investment programme in its history. When fully complete in 2020, the redevelopment will increase the airport’s capacity by 50%, from 12 million to 18 million passengers per year.

Today marks the completion of phase one, following the opening of the new road network, a 1,700 multi-storey car park and a remodelled and expanded bus and coach terminal. Construction is already well underway on phase 2, which will see the airport terminal redesigned to double the size of its immigration, security search and retail and dining area.

The announcement, which falls on the Department for International Trade’s first anniversary, complements the billions of pounds in export opportunities already secured by the department, as it strengthens ties with commercial and trading partners across the globe.

Dr Liam Fox, joined by His Majesty the King of Spain at Mansion House, celebrated the strong bilateral trade and business ties between the 2 countries as he outlined key investment projects across the UK.

The UK and Spain are close trading partners. In 2015, bilateral trade between both countries amounted to £41 billion - exports from the UK to Spain were worth £15 billion, and UK imports worth £25 billion from Spain. Around 700 UK companies are investing in Spain, while over 400 Spanish companies are registered in the UK.

International Trade Secretary Dr Liam Fox said:

I’m delighted to welcome the ongoing role Spanish investment is playing at Luton Airport, expanding capacity at this key transport connection. Every year millions more people will be able to visit London and the rest of the UK for business ensuring the UK remains Europe’s number one destination for Spanish direct foreign investment.

As an international economic department over the past twelve months we’ve helped secure more foreign direct investment projects than ever before, supported thousands of UK businesses on their export journey, and continue to promote British trade values across the world.

Nick Barton, CEO of London Luton Airport said:

LLA is a fantastic example of the close partnership between the UK and Spain. LLA is the fastest growing major airport in the UK. The support and experience of AENA has been a key contributing factor to our success.

LLA’s transformation will provide much-needed air capacity for the South East and improve the experience of the millions of passengers who travel with us each year.

In particular, the forum will highlight:

• The ongoing £150 million transformation of London Luton Airport by Spanish airport operator AENA, in partnership with Ardian, a major European investor. The project, which has just completed its first phase of construction, is forecast to create 10,500 new jobs and contribute an additional £1 billion to the UK economy by 2030.

• Today’s announcement by Spanish manufacturer CAF that it is to start building trains and trams at a new factory in South Wales. The company will invest £30 million in the facility near Newport, creating 300 jobs and giving a boost to UK manufacturing and the Welsh economy.

• Spanish infrastructure company Sacyr’s decision that it will soon open a new London office close to Victoria Station, which will provide a base for further investment and job creation in the UK.

• The construction of a £26 million factory on a Steel & Alloy Processing site in Oldbury, as Spanish steel producer Gonvarri Steel Services, part of the Gestamp Group, scales up its production capacity in the West Midlands. The project has been supported by the Department for International Trade and will create more jobs in the local area.

• The recent launch of new clinics in the West Midlands and London by Spanish fertility specialists IVI as they invest in their UK expansion, creating jobs and supporting research.

Further information

Through great.gov.uk the government gives UK businesses access to millions of pounds’ worth of potential overseas business, helping them start exporting and an ‘export directory’ to match UK businesses to worldwide demand.

DIT has helped to secure billions of pounds in export opportunities, and since its creation in July 2016, the department has also supported:

  • a trade mission to India which resulted in £1.2 billion worth of business deals
  • the largest ever healthcare trade mission to China which saw British organisations sign deals worth more than £250 million
  • UK architecture firms to secure a contract worth tens of millions of pounds in UAE

The Department for International Trade is responsible for delivering a new trade policy framework for the UK and promoting British trade and investment across the world, to ensure Britain is firmly at the forefront of global trade and investment.

Contact the DIT Media and Digital Team on 020 7008 3333.

Follow us: @tradegovuk or at gov.uk/dit

Published 13 July 2017