Heathrow team visits Shackleton Barracks as part of '˜hub' bid

Representatives from Heathrow Airport have completed their assessment of the six Northern Ireland sites in the running to be key partners in the expansion of Heathrow.

Tuesday, 26th June 2018, 1:23 pm
Updated Tuesday, 26th June 2018, 1:29 pm
MJM Renewables, part of MJM Group, who own the former Shackleton Barracks in Ballykelly welcomed a delegation from Heathrow Airport this week. The delegation were here to view the 620 acre site in Ballykelly, as a potential location for a logistics hub to support the planned airport expansion. Heathrows Expansion Procurement Director, Senior External Affairs Manager, Public Affairs Manager and a Strategic Planning Assistant from MACE who work with Heathrow were all in attendance. The MJM team was joined at the event by key stakeholders from area including community representatives, Council, local politicians, Colleges NI, Causeway Chamber, Foyle Port and Invest Northern Ireland. The event was organised for the Heathrow delegation to see the site, find out more about the locality, the labour market, the community and the potential benefits of locating one of their logistics hubs in Ballykelly. The next stage of the process will take place later in the year.

The sites - including one in Londonderry - are on a long-list of 65 across the UK to become Heathrow Logistic Hubs - offsite construction centres where parts can be pre-assembled before being transported to the London airport for construction.

As well as visiting the potential sites, the Heathrow delegation also met with some of the major construction and manufacturers in Northern Ireland to find out more about their businesses and to explain how the hubs will fit into the airport’s expansion plans.

The delegation was also met by key local politicians and MPs.

The representatives organised a Summit with the NI Chamber of Commerce to engage potential SMEs suppliers and to provide insights on how they could fit into the project through meet-the-buyer events.

This latest visit to Shackleton Barracks, owned by MJM Marine, follows the assessment of sites at Michelin in Ballymena, Belfast International Airport in Antrim and Global Point Business Park in Newtownabbey.

The delegation also visited the Silverwood Business Park in Craigavon and the North Foreshore in Belfast.

The visit comes just after Cabinet ministers gave their backing to the proposed new runway at Heathrow.

Having carried out the site visits, Heathrow aims to open a pre-qualification questionnaire process to the successful bidders later in the year.

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. “The Logistics Hubs and our Business Summits are both instrumental in our aim to ensure that Heathrow benefits the whole of the UK.”