Heathrow expansion will help North East soar - Chamber

Expansion of Heathrow airport will be a major boost for the North East, says the region's leading business organisation.
Planes on the runway at Heathrow.Planes on the runway at Heathrow.
Planes on the runway at Heathrow.

Transport Secretary Chris Grayling confirmed this week the Government was backing plans to build a third runway at the UK’s busiest airport.

The announcement split the Conservatives, with Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson and Education Secretary Justine Greening making their opposition clear and MP Zac Goldsmith - whose Richmond Park and Kingston North constituency lies under the Heathrow flightpath - resigning to force a by-election in protest.

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But North East England Chamber of Commerce Chief Executive James Ramsbotham welcomed the news and said it would be good for the region: “We are absolutely delighted with the Government’s decision to move forward with expansion at Heathrow Airport,” he said.

“This long-awaited conclusion is a welcome one for North East England and the whole of the UK.

“We have been staunch advocates of Heathrow expansion as the right option to ensure North East businesses continue to enjoy the access they need to markets around the world.

“We would now urge MPs to support this positive decision.

“A green light for expansion allows our businesses to make investment plans safe in the knowledge our region’s connection to Heathrow is secure and it has the capacity to support future economic growth.

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“In the aftermath of the EU Referendum it is more important than ever that we, as a country and a region, are globally connected.”

South Tyneside Council leader Coun Iain Malcolm is lead for the seven local authorities which have shares in Newcastle International Airport: “The future success of the North East economy is dependent upon our region having good connectivity. Heathrow remains our largest hub connection,” he said.

“In recommending the Heathrow option, the Airports Commission recognised its importance to regions such as the North East.”