Prominent business and political leaders will today make the case for Peterborough to be chosen as a construction hub for the multi-million pound expansion of Heathrow airport.
The city is one of 65 across the UK vying to be home to one of just four huge logistics hubs that will co-ordinate the offsite construction of the airport's £16 billion third runway.
At stake is the chance to share in £15 billion of economic benefits, including 12,900 jobs, the airport's expansion is expected to bring the East of England.
A high-powered presentation to Heathrow Airport chiefs will take place later today at the Roxhill Peterborough Gateway site, in Great Haddon - the proposed venue for the logistics hub.
If the Peterborough bid is successful, the hub will be used to pre-assemble components of an expanded Heathrow before transporting them in consolidated loads to the airport.
The hubs are seen as vital to ensure the Heathrow expansion benefits the whole country by spreading jobs, boosting productivity and modernising the construction industry outside London and the South East.
Emma Gilthorpe, Heathrow’s executive director of expansion, said: "We’re thrilled to be back in the East of England following the overwhelming backing Parliament gave Heathrow expansion last week.
"It is brilliant to see, first-hand, the potential role the region could play in delivering Britain’s new runway.
“When chosen, the final four sites will kick start the job creation and economic benefits that expansion will bring. We are looking forward to meeting the team at Opportunity Peterborough and seeing what the site in Peterborough has to offer."
James Palmer, Mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, said: "I am delighted that Heathrow has longlisted a site in Peterborough and we’re keen to demonstrate why our area with its thriving supply chain should play a part in the construction of one of the country’s most crucial infrastructure projects.
"The billions of pounds of private investment to fund expansion will deliver massive benefits all over the UK before the new runway is even operational."
Steve Bowyer, chief executive of the city's economic development company, Opportunity Peterborough, said: "We’re delighted to be hosting the team from Heathrow today to showcase why Peterborough would make the perfect location for a logistics hub.
"As a forward-thinking, future city, Peterborough has excellent transport links, gigabit speed internet connectivity and a host of successful world-class businesses operating across all sectors – particularly manufacturing and engineering.
"Add to that our fantastic talent pool of skilled workers and our ever growing University offer, and the city’s case for being a logistics hub location is very compelling indeed.
"“Peterborough has a strong track-record of securing new investment; in fact just this week the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) has confirmed the city is its preferred location for its new head office.
"Securing a Heathrow logistics hub would be a huge boost to the local economy and testament to the city’s longstanding reputation as thriving business destination.”