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LEP welcomes expansion of Heathrow

Government decision praised as a 'positive signal'

Andy Murrill

Andy Murrill

andy.murrill@newburynews.co.uk

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01635 886625

LEP welcomes expansion of Heathrow

THAMES Valley Berkshire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and Enterprise M3 have welcomed the news that ministers have set out final proposals to back Heathrow expansion.

The Government has published the proposed Airports National Policy Statement, supporting Heathrow expansion through developing a new north-west runway.

A third runway will address the lack of airport capacity in the South East and give the airport the largest capacity in the UK.

Two-hundred-and-two of the top 300 companies in the UK are headquartered within a 25-mile radius of Heathrow.

An economic assessment commissioned by the Western Wedge partners in 2013, highlighted that the expansion of Heathrow would add 35,000 jobs and £3.5bn of GVA by 2040 to the South East economy.

Western Wedge comprises the LEP, Enterprise M3 LEP (which drives prosperity in the M3 corridor), Buckinghamshire LEP, Oxfordshire LEP and West London Business.

Thames Valley Berkshire LEP chief executive Tim Smith said: “The decision to support Heathrow expansion is a positive signal from cabinet about the UK’s future, global connectivity.

“As the most productive sub-region in the country, Thames Valley Berkshire’s connectivity is very much its USP and is crucial to maintaining the area’s and UK’s competitive advantage.

“The LEP has made public its position of support for the expansion of Heathrow since 2012 and this has always been based on sound evidence.”

Enterprise M3 LEP chairman Dave Axam said, “Enterprise M3 has been a strong supporter of Heathrow expansion in a sustainable manner to support the local economy.

“The Enterprise M3 area has the largest number of foreign-owned companies within its area and they are located here due to proximity to Heathrow.

“Airport expansion will help retain these key businesses and encourage the economy to flourish.”

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