Representatives from over 80 Welsh companies attended a business summit in Cardiff yesterday to discuss how Wales can benefit from the planned new runway for Heathrow.
MPs gave overwhelming support for plans to construct a new £14bn runway last month which it is estimated will bring 8400 jobs and £8bn of economic growth to Wales. This is the second summit attended by Welsh business leaders.
Business groups and leaders heard from Economy Secretary Ken Skates, CEO of South and Mid Wales Chambers of Commerce, Heather Myers, Director of Pro Steel Engineering, Richard Selby and Chief Strategy Officer at Heathrow Airport, Andrew Macmillan, to discuss how Wales can get the very best out of the opportunities ahead.
Economy Secretary, Ken Skates said:
“In total it is estimated that the new runway will deliver 8400 new jobs and £8bn in economic growth and I am determined that a significant portion of those benefits will be felt here in Wales.
“As a Welsh Government we are working closely with Heathrow and doing all we can to ensure Wales gets the very best out of the opportunities associated with the new runway.
“This includes exploring airport links between Heathrow and Wales to ensure better connectivity to Wales for tourist and businesses, and working hard to bring one of the Heathrow Logistic Hubs – which will host some of the off-site construction for the runway – to one of the six shortlisted Welsh sites still in the running. This would create hundreds of new jobs and inject millions of pounds into our economy.
“Today’s event, the second of its kind is Wales, is a great opportunity for Welsh SMEs to promote their goods and services to Heathrow and make valuable connections with the Airport’s Supply Chain that will help secure economic benefits here in Wales.
“It is also a great opportunity for companies to link with other SMEs and explore opportunities for collaborations that could help to drive up the potential economic benefits for all parties, and ensure that the benefits of this major infrastructure project are felt in communities right across Wales.
Local Entrepreneur Brian Stokes, who founded National IT support company ITCS said there was overwhelming support in South Wales for a hub in the region. He said:
“Choosing a South Wales hub location is not just good for Wales, it’s also a smart decision for the Heathrow third runway project.”
“South Wales can offer a recognised hub of talent and opportunity with good transport links to Heathrow – that’s why we have our National Head Office here. Our region’s capacity to deliver first rate projects, our skilled workforce, our aerospace links and our capacity to deliver technological innovation are unmatched.”