Peterborough in running as a vital hub to help construction of Heathrow's third runway

Heathrow Airport.
Heathrow Airport.
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A huge site in Peterborough has been earmarked as a possible hub to aid the expansion of Heathrow airport.

The Roxhill scheme at Gateway Peterborough, in Great Haddon, has been named as the potential base for a Logistics Hub that will participate in the offsite construction of the £16 billion third runway.

The site is one of 65 locations across Britain longlisted to take part in the construction of the runway at the airport, which is the largest in Europe with 76 million passengers a year.

Only four of the sites will be chosen with a final decision unlikely to be made for many months.

The hubs will be used to preassemble and consolidate components before transporting them to Heathrow.

Each hub will allow small and medium-sized enterprises to become involved in the project and each will create jobs for skilled and semi-skilled workers.

The Gateway site was proposed by the economic development company Opportunity Peterborough.

Steve Bowyer, chief executive of Opportunity Peterborough, said: "Peterborough has made a very compelling case to become one of Heathrow’s four Logistics Hubs.

"It’s affordable, we’ve got excellent transport links, gigabit connectivity, and the city has a huge amount of expertise when it comes to manufacturing and engineering.

"As the Future Peterborough programme is seen as a global leader in this area we know the city can offer real insight to ensure that the runway is sustainably and efficiently produced with minimal waste.

Mr Bowyer added: "Securing a Logistics Hub for Heathrow would be a tremendous boost to an already impressive and resilient track records; we’ve seen higher than average growth in terms of jobs creation in Peterborough at the moment."

Mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, James Palmer said: "I am delighted to see that the bid from Opportunity Peterborough has made it through to the longlist of potential sites for a Heathrow Logistics Hub.

"Important projects like Heathrow expansion provide opportunities for investment and growth across the UK, so it is great that Opportunity Peterborough’s bid has proposed to bring some of these economic benefits to the East of England.

"I look forward to working with the promoter, our regional MPs and Heathrow to support this bid to the next stage.”

The Heathrow expansion is the first major infrastructure project to pioneer the large-scale use of logistics hubs in a bid to help jobs creation across the UK.

The announcement was made at Heathrow's 2017 Supplier Awards Ceremony, which recognises the achievements of the organisations across the UK that form part of Heathrow's supply chain.

Lord Deighton, Heathrow’s chairman, said: "Heathrow’s third runway will rely on talent from all over Britain helping to create a national asset for generations to come.

"This means new procurement opportunities for businesses in every region, helping drive growth and investment into local communities in all corners of this country.

"The third runway is not a London centric project – it is one we are opening up to the whole of the UK, asking for its skills and expertise to help build an asset this country so desperately needs to safeguard its future prosperity.”

Construction of the main components of the runway are expected to start in 2021.