This afternoon Heathrow Airport are visiting Havering to see our borough's exciting bid for a Heathrow logistics hub, a project that could transform our area into a manufacturing and engineering centre of excellence.
If Heathrow gets the green light for expansion, it wants to establish four logistics hubs for the off-site construction of the expanded airport. This would be a pioneering method of construction, bringing the engineering and manufacturing jobs of the future to wherever a hub is established.
I am currently working with Havering Council and neighbouring MPs, Stephen Metcalfe, Andrew Rosindell, Alex Burghart and Jon Cruddas, to bid for one of Heathrow’s logistics hubs to be built at Beam Reach, Rainham, transforming a vast brownfield site next to our constituency into a centre of modern industry and logistics. The hub would reignite use of the River Thames to transport parts to Heathrow and it would connect Rainham to the growing ports of Tilbury and London Gateway, placing Havering as the link between London and trade with the rest of the world.
Last week I brought Transport Secretary, Chris Grayling, to Havering Town Hall to hear the bid for himself.
We showed him how the hub proposal could unlock massive regeneration opportunities for our region in terms of jobs, business opportunities, education and housing. Havering College and CEME already have campuses nearby to train local people for engineering and manufacturing jobs, but a Heathrow hub could help us attract a university campus to the site and draw on Rainham’s history in steel, distribution and car-manufacturing by providing the blue-collar work of the future.
It is an incredibly exciting proposal and with Heathrow’s team visiting us today, I hope they will see just what enormous economic benefit could be spread to our borough as we strengthen trading links between our nation and the rest of the world. I know I am biased but I truly believe our pitch is strong enough to beat the 64 other sites that are in the running across the UK.