Heathrow delegation visits NI sites in running for hub

Mid and East Antrim’s Heathrow logistics hub committee members pictured with Maya Jani, Heathrow expansion procurement director
Gareth McKeown

REPRESENTATIVES from Heathrow Airport have completed their assessment of the six Northern Ireland sites in the running to be key partners in its expansion.

The sites are on a long-list of 65 across the UK to become Heathrow Logistic Hubs - offsite construction centres where parts can be pre-assembled before being transported to the London airport for construction.

As well as visiting the potential sites, the Heathrow delegation also met with some of the major construction and manufacturers in the north to find out more about their businesses and to explain how the hubs will fit into the airport's expansion plans. The delegation was also met by key local politicians and MPs.

The final visit of the delegation to Shackleton Barracks, owned by MJM Marine, follows the assessment of sites at Michelin in Ballymena, Belfast International Airport in Antrim and Global Point Business Park in Newtownabbey. The delegation also viewed the Silverwood Business Park in Craigavon and the North Foreshore in Belfast.

Having carried out the site visits, Heathrow aims to open a pre-qualification questionnaire process to the successful bidders later in the year.

It's estimated that the hubs could deliver an economic boost of £5 billion for the UK and create as many as 5,000 jobs in Northern Ireland.

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