Heathrow Airport unveils new locations for Business Summit series

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More businesses than ever before will work with Heathrow to explore new global markets and supply chain opportunities, as 11 locations are set to host Heathrow Business Summits, announced today.

Speaking at Heathrow’s first National Growth Conference, Heathrow’s Chief Executive John Holland-Kaye announced locations across the UK will host more than 50 of the airport’s top suppliers, in what will be the largest Summit series yet.

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Organised in conjunction with the Department for International Trade and regional Chambers of Commerce, the Summits will give hundreds of SME access to one-on-one appointments with suppliers and professional trade advisers. Meetings are designed to give SMEs a chance to cement relationships and forge new connections with some of the UK’s largest suppliers which could also be leveraged for further work outside of Heathrow’s expansion project. New trading opportunities and advice will also be discussed with delegates looking to export their products and services to a global market via Heathrow.

Today’s National Growth Conference brings together UK business and industry leaders, including representatives from Virgin Atlantic, ABTA, Visit Britain, Newquay Airport, DHL and Inverness Airport to discuss how to maximise the benefits of expansion. The Conference follows a successful series of National Conversation events held around the UK from March to November. Key note speeches and panel sessions at the Conference build on key priorities established across the year, including:

• Providing more frequent and affordable connections to every region and nation;
• Boosting exporters in every region and nation through improved cargo capacity and connections to the world;
• Maintaining Heathrow’s established role as the gateway to the UK and drive tourism and investment into every region and nation;
• Championing economic development of every region and nation.

Speaking at the National Growth Conference, John Holland-Kaye, Heathrow’s Chief Executive, said:

“As the world’s best-connected airport, and Britain’s biggest port by value, Heathrow is one of this country’s competitive advantages. The jobs and growth we help create across the UK, through programmes including our Business Summits, will be more important than ever in a post-Brexit world. We are committed to delivering more opportunities for British business and encourage SMEs of all shapes and sizes to join us on our Summit tour, as we gear up for growth.”

Adam Marshall, Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce, co-partners of the event, said:

“The Chamber of Commerce Network has been working closely with Heathrow to ensure that the priorities of every region and nation of the UK are considered during each stage of the expansion plans. We’re delighted to be partnering with Heathrow today at the first National Growth Conference, and look forward to exploring new opportunities for UK businesses to grow and prosper. Heathrow’s expansion plans will boost connectivity for firms both nationally and globally, improving links to key customers, suppliers and markets in all corners of the world.”

Annually, the airport spends up to £1.5bn with more than 1,400 suppliers from around the UK and is the country’s largest port by value for global markets outside the EU. With more supplier work up for grabs and 40 new long-haul routes on the horizon with expansion, Heathrow is looking to find more innovative SMEs who can supply and export through the airport both now and in the future.

Going further to promote regional growth, a shortlist of potential Logistics Hubs which will see regions outside of London participate in offsite construction of the third runway infrastructure, will be announced in the first half of this year. The final four sites will soon after be decided on, with the aim being to start construction at the sites in 2021.