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Heathrow growth good for business says SEEDA

15 January 2009

Plans for a third runway at Heathrow, supported by better rail and road links, will make long term business growth more sustainable across the UK says SEEDA.

SEEDA also welcomed Government's environmental commitments as an essential component of the package and underlined the need to meet the environmental challenge that comes with rising demand for international air travel.

SEEDA Chairman Jim Brathwaite said: "Heathrow is the country's only global air hub – we welcome Government's decision today to build on that as it is a key factor in attracting businesses to the UK and creating new jobs. Simply moving flights elsewhere wouldn't deliver for business and wouldn't reduce the environmental impact.

"Managing the environmental impact is critical and we will need substantial investment in improving the transport infrastructure that supports Heathrow. We need to see projects such as Airtrack and Crossrail delivered at the same time as the new runway."

Air travel is vital to business success across the UK , with particular benefits for the South East economy:

  • South East businesses have the highest exports in the country and a new runway will improve access to growing overseas markets
  • 70 per cent of international businesses locating in the UK for the first time choose locations within an hour of Heathrow.
  • The South East has more global headquarters than any other UK region
  • Development of the new runway will help economic recovery – creating 60,000 jobs and delivering contract opportunities for South East businesses, for example in the growing environmental sector.

For media enquiries, please contact:

Roy Sutherwood, Head of Marketing & Communications, SEEDA
Tel: 01483 470 155

Heather Bolton, Director of Communications, SEEDA
Tel: 01483 501398

For more information please contact our press office

Tel: 01483 470155