Enterprise M3 LEP welcomes Airports Commission report

Hampshire Chronicle: Geoff French, chairman of Enterprise M3 LEP Geoff French, chairman of Enterprise M3 LEP

ENTERPRISE M3 Local Enterprise Partnership is pleased with the decision by Airports Commission to include two options for expansion at Heathrow and one option for Gatwick in its interim report published yesterday.

The LEP also welcomes the report’s recommendation that the Government immediately implement a package of surface transport improvements, particularly the provision of rail access into Heathrow from the South, which will improve the use of existing runway capacity.

Responding to today’s report, Geoff French, chairman of the Enterprise M3 LEP said: “Since our partnership was established in 2011, businesses in the Enterprise M3 area have repeatedly told us how critical the access and the status of Heathrow is to their economic success.

“Our submission to the Airports Commission in September also highlighted the fact that at present the activity at Heathrow Airport supports 120,000 jobs and £6 billion in economic output in the towns and districts to the west of London and, if it was expanded, an extra 35,000 jobs could be created by 2040.

“We are therefore pleased that the Airports Commission has gone with a shortlist of options that takes the long-term needs of UK businesses into consideration and recognises the importance of the South East for the whole of the UK economy.

“We would, however, urge the Government to make its decision before the 2015 election. There has already been uncertainty for far too long over the future of Heathrow and this has resulted in business opting to locate to other global centres whose long-term future is known.”

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