Heathrow has announced it is developing a procurement strategy for the construction of a third runway at the airport.
The airport operator said it has moved into the “delivery phase” following a recommendation from the Airports Commission that an extra runway at Heathrow is the best option to expand the UK’s air capacity.
The company said it would establish a “procurement forum” that included business leaders from across the UK to help develop the strategy for the £15.6 billion of private investment that will pay for the scheme.
Heathrow said the strategy would “focus on developing skills, creating jobs and encouraging growth across the whole of the UK – ensuring that SMEs across the country have the confidence and the support they need to access Heathrow’s supply chain”.
The firm said expanding the airport will create up to £211 billion of economic growth and 190,000 jobs across the country.
Heathrow, which spends more than £1.5 billion annually with more than 1,200 suppliers, is also holding a business summit in Leeds on 15 October to “ensure that more and more SMEs have the opportunity to connect with the airport before our detailed delivery strategy for the third runway begins”.
Heathrow CEO John Holland-Kaye said: “With expansion, we will create tens of thousands of skilled jobs while we build, as well as when we have built – skills that will leave a legacy of construction excellence in this country that can be sold all round the world. When we built Terminal 2, on time and on budget, we spread our supply chain to all parts of the UK, and we will do the same again, ensuring that all of Britain benefits from Heathrow expansion.”
Mike Cherry, policy director at the Federation of Small Businesses, said: “Airport expansion is a tremendous opportunity for small firms across the UK to grow their businesses and help deliver significant much-needed infrastructure. We’re delighted to be working with the team at Heathrow, and will join its procurement forum to ensure that smaller firms get equal opportunity of access in the supply chain to deliver a project of this scale and importance.”