The Legacy Of Heathrow’s Third Runway Will See Wide-Reaching & Enduring Benefits To UK SMEs

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Like or loathe Heathrow’s expansion plans, through it the airport is expected to create new jobs in addition to channeling investment through its diverse SME supply chain. Indeed, Heathrow sees the UK’s diverse SME landscape playing a pivotal role in delivering its growth ambition. To that end, the airport is to hold six Business Summits across the country to promote the potential for SMEs, shed further light on development plans, and encourage British businesses to help contribute to Heathrow’s performance today and in the future.

Heathrow’s determination to create jobs was exampled recently when it launched its sustainability strategy called Heathrow 2.0 in which it committed to establishing Business Summits in all 12 UK regions within eight years. This again highlighted the role SMEs play in Heathrow’s current success as well as the potential for small and medium enterprises to feature in the airport’s future. Heathrow already spends one and a half billion pounds with over 1,200 UK-based suppliers annually. The expectation is that this figure will grow.

That will be led by the construction of a third runway, a project that will become Britain’s largest infrastructure scheme. Described as a sort of speed dating exercise, the Heathrow Business Summits will give SME’s the chance to liaise with the airport’s suppliers, generating and solidifying relationships, and networking to create new supply chain connections that could generate further work outside of Heathrow’s expansion endeavours.

Alongside this, Heathrow’s Expansion Procurement Approach envisages a supply chain fit to serve a world class, modern aviation hub dubbed a next generation airport. Investment will be led by an ambition to develop relevant construction skills that will help deliver Heathrow’s expansion. These valuable skills, and the experience gained, will put SMEs in an ideal position to grow their own portfolio in future. Heathrow is supporting this through its pledge to increase apprenticeships and extend programmes that promote contemporary construction skills training.

As the UK’s hub airport, Heathrow has a vital role to play in helping the best of Britain’s SMEs grow and thrive,” said Heathrow Expansion Programme Director Phil Wilbraham. We already spend over £1.5 billion through our supply chain each year and the multi-billion-pound project to expand Heathrow is set to create thousands more opportunities for UK businesses to get involved in helping connect Britain to the world.”

Wilbraham said Heathrow is committed to sustaining a diverse supply chain, one which embraces innovation and new standards of delivery. Through Heathrow 2.0, the airport is eager to nurture the supply chain to meet innovation ambition and deliver more affordable solutions.

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