Heathrow's third runway could boost Daventry as airport considers DIRFT as potential offsite construction centre

DIRFT is one of 65 sites nationwide being considered as a logistics hub for the construction of Heathrow's third runway
DIRFT is one of 65 sites nationwide being considered as a logistics hub for the construction of Heathrow's third runway

Daventry's rail freight terminal is one of several sites across the Midlands bidding to become an offsite construction centre for Heathrow's third runway.

On Thursday, July 26 a delegation from the UK's largest airport was visiting DIRFT and two other sites in the Midlands as it narrows down its search for a home for one of four "logistics hubs".

The visits come a month after MPs voted in Parliament to approve Heathrow's expansion, with the project expected to deliver 21,800 new jobs and £23 billion worth of wider economic benefits across the Midlands, as well as improve connectivity between the area and the country's only hub airport.

Daventry MP Chris Heaton-Harris, who accompanied the Heathrow delegation on its visit to DIRFT, said: “Fantastic to see that Heathrow expansion could be set to benefit Daventry, with Prologis chosen as a potential site for a logistics hub.

"A clear indication of just one of the ways in which the Heathrow expansion project is creating economic growth across the UK.”

Components of the airport will be pre-assembled in the hubs before being transported to the construction site.

Heathrow say this method should have several benefits including the reduction of traffic on the airport's surrounding roads, which will benefit the local community, as well as being able to provide better site welfare.

Research from WPI Economics suggests that the logistics hubs model could result in growth in off-site construction and lead to productivity boost worth £30 billion for the industry outside of London by 2025.

Emma Gilthorpe, expansion executive director at Heathrow, said: “Heathrow expansion is much more than the delivery of Britain’s new runway.

"Expansion is a once in a generation opportunity to transform British construction as the country prepares for life post-Brexit.

"This nationwide tour has shown us the possibilities offsite construction offers and we’re looking forward to announcing the shortlist early next year.”

Thursday marked the conclusion of a nationwide tour of 65 longlisted sites. A shortlist will be announced in early 2019 with the final four selected later that year.

DIRFT is competing with 10 other sites in the Midlands.

They are: Corby Land and Development Ltd, Midlands Logistics Park, Corby; Laing O’Rourke, Explore Manufacturing, Worksop; SEGRO plc, SEGRO Logistics Park, Derby; Tarmac Trading Ltd, Tarmac Hindlow Quarry, Buxton; Amalga Ltd, Palletforce SuperHub, Burton-on-Trent; Balfour Beatty, Birch Coppice Industrial Estate, Tamworth; Stoke-on-Trent City Council, Highgate Ravensdale, Stoke-on-Trent; Stoke-on-Trent City Council, Chatterley Valley West, Stoke-on-Trent; Telford & Wrekin Council, Land at Hortonwood, Telford; and Telford & Wrekin Council, Property at Railfreight Terminal, Telford.