Speakers from Heathrow’s expansion team told a business audience that expansion would bring great economic benefits to the local area, as well as connect the UK to global growth, with Heathrow open to, and an extension of, London.
Speaking at the West London Business Property Lunch, Matt Palmer Director Q6 at Heathrow, gave an insight in to the local ecnomic impact of Heathrow expansion – 40,000 new jobs in the local economy. However, even if everything goes to plan, construction is not likely to start until 2022, with completion in 2026. But of course there will be many employment opportunities during the construction phase.
Jolyon Brewis, from Grimshaw, Heathrow’s masterplanners, said he was exited about working on a project with such a substantial timescale. This allowed him to “keep dreaming” about how people will work, and move, in the future, and how something can be planned which is robust yet flexible.
Kim Gray, Head of Commercial Strategy at Heathrow, was keen to emphasise that Heathrow was not some “walled fortress”, that it was aiming to open itself out to its surroundings, allowing new interactions for the local community with new facilities for the expanded airport – commercial space for local companies for example.
“We want Heathrow to be seen as an extension to the city, not something separate”, he said.
Chris Joyce, Head of Surface Access at Heathrow, described plans to improve public transport access to the Airport, which in part aim to encourage both passengers and airport workers to leave their cars at home, or park them at one of two ‘Gateways’ planned to the north and south of the Airport, and travel the last miles by shuttle or pod. They also aim to give more options to people and businesses in the local area – new transport options to central London, and the rest of the country.