A DELEGATION from Heathrow Airport has visited sites across the region as part of nationwide search for an offsite construction centre for Heathrow’s expansion.

Heathrow is pioneering Logistics Hubs, where components of the airport will be pre-assembled before being transported to the airport, in a bid to ensure the expansion delivers for the whole country by spreading jobs, boosting productivity and modernising the construction industry outside of London and the South East.

Following the launch, Heathrow Chairman Lord Deighton and a delegation from Heathrow is carrying out a tour of 65 sites across the UK, including Sherburn2, the brand-new £105 million 75-acre Yorkshire business park at Junction 42 of the A1(M) at Sherburn-in-Elmet, near Selby, as well as the region’s airport Leeds Bradford, and Thirsk-headquartered steel company Severfield UK.

Yorkshire infact has more longlisted sites than anywhere else in the UK, with Heathrow representatives visiting a total of 11 locations across the wider county.

Lord Deighton, chairman at Heathrow Airport, said: “Heathrow expansion is a once in a generation opportunity to transform the UK construction industry, build for the future and deliver a lasting skills legacy for future generations.

“All of this comes at a pivotal time for our country, as it prepares itself to leave the EU and where we need to build for our future in both travel and trade.

“An expanded Heathrow is for all of Britain and the Logistics Hubs are instrumental in our aim to ensure that expansion spreads the huge potential of its £187 billion in economic benefits across the UK, while minimising the impact on the airport’s local communities.

“Off-site construction is an innovative way for these balances to be met and we can’t wait to see for ourselves the opportunity we have in working with the best businesses in the country.”

Heathrow representatives will visit all longlisted locations in the first half of 2018, and aim to open a pre-qualification questionnaire process later this year.

Jeremy Nolan, managing director of Glentrool Estates, which owns Sherburn2, said: “We are proud and privileged to help launch Heathrow’s nationwide tour and we are delighted to welcome the delegation, including Lord Deighton, to our business park.

“Sherburn2 represents the perfect location for one of Heathrow’s Logistics Hubs. The site offers quick access to essential routes across the UK, with Yorkshire’s excellent motorway network only minutes away and a skilled available works force.

“Crucially, it will take Heathrow personnel just 50 minutes to get to Sherburn2, as we have the Sherburn Aero Club on our doorstep. At the same time, the rail freight terminal at Gascoigne Wood, adjacent to our site, means freight from Heathrow to Sherburn2 will take just five hours.

“This superb combination of road, rail and air connectivity makes Sherburn2 a tremendously strong contender to host a Heathrow Logistics Hub.

“There is no doubt a decision by Heathrow to locate a Logistics Hub here would provide a tremendous boost to the regional Selby economy, creating sustainable jobs in the local area. It would also be a welcome link between the north and the south and underpin the growing importance of the Northern Powerhouse

Leader of Selby District Council, Cllr Mark Crane, added; “We’re not surprised that Sherburn2 has been identified as a potential site to support a regional hub for Heathrow. It’s got great transport connections and with our affordable business space it means companies in this area get more for their money compared to other parts of the region.

“Sherburn2 is just one of five big development sites in the Selby district that we’ve been supporting because of their potential to bring new investment, jobs and opportunities. We’re the fastest growing part of North Yorkshire and that’s because of our position right at the heart of the region.”

Heathrow’s Logistics Hubs feature in the Government’s Industrial Strategy, listed as an example of how to develop skills across the UK and create conditions where successful businesses can emerge. Heathrow has also begun working with other major infrastructure companies to explore how the final sites could be used for future projects.

David Laws, chief executive of Leeds Bradford Airport, said: “I am proud that Leeds Bradford Airport is kicking off Heathrow’s nationwide tour.

“We believe this airport represents an ideal location for one of Heathrow’s Logistics Hubs.

“The knock-on effects of a site here would bring huge benefits to people living in and around the airport, creating jobs in the local area.

“At Leeds Bradford, we connect people to the world, and it is great that Heathrow is connecting people across the country with the benefits that Heathrow expansion will bring.”