Heathrow expansion to create 95,000 new UK manufacturing jobs

Posted on 7 Oct 2015 by Victoria Fitzgerald

Government plans for the Northern Powerhouse will be boosted by up to 26,400 new manufacturing jobs if Heathrow is allowed to expand, according to new research out today.

With the Conservative Party Conference currently underway in Manchester, Heathrow is calling on Government to make a decision for all of Britain by giving the green light to the airport’s new plans for expansion and creating almost 95,000 new manufacturing jobs across the country.

Heathrow highlights:

  • Industry unite with Heathrow in calling on Government to deliver almost 95,000 new manufacturing jobs for Britain
  • 85% will be generated outside London and the South East
  • New research reveals Northern Powerhouse has most to gain from Heathrow expansion, benefiting from up to 1 in 4 of the new manufacturing jobs created

The research, undertaken by consultancy Quod, shows that up to 1 in 4 (28%) of the new manufacturing jobs generated by Heathrow expansion would be based in the Northern Powerhouse.

More broadly, 85% will be created outside London and the South East.

In keeping with the geographical spread of new jobs anticipated in the manufacturing sector, 60% of the total economic benefit predicted by the Airports Commission as a result of expanding Heathrow will be generated outside of London and the South East.

The manufacturing sector would be one of the greatest benefactors of new jobs fuelled by a third runway at Heathrow, accounting for more than 50% of the 179,800 total predicted by the Airports Commission.

As a trade-intensive industry, the sector is expected to benefit significantly from new and improved trade links, as well as from the ripple effect of Heathrow related growth across other sectors. A

dditionally, manufacturing is a key part of the aviation supply chain, and is likely to benefit directly as the sector increases purchasing.

Table 1: Distribution of additional UK manufacturing jobs generated by Heathrow expansion in 2050, Quod October 2015

  Range of net additional jobs in manufacturing in 2050 Proportion of total net additional manufacturing jobs in 2050 (%)
Northern Powerhouse 26,200 – 26,400 28%
Midlands 21,300 – 21,600 23% – 23%
London and South East England 13,300 – 14,100 14% – 15%
The South West 8,700 – 10,600 9% – 11%
The East of England 8,400 – 8,700 9%
Scotland 5,600 – 6,900 6% – 7%
Wales 5,600 – 6,000 6%
Northern Ireland 3,000 – 3,400 3% – 4%
TOTAL 94,900 100%

An expanded Heathrow is claimed to be a significant boost for the industry, which is responsible for over half of all British exports.

Last week, figures released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) revealed that manufacturing output in the UK remains 5.5% below its level on the eve of the 2008 economic recession.

Rolls-Royce's new Heathrow Service Centre
Rolls-Royce’s new Heathrow Service Centre

Recent research by BIS and the Government Office for Science predicts that manufacturing in 2050 will look very different from today, and will be virtually unrecognisable from that of 30 years ago.

It identifies the following key characteristics of future manufacturing:

  • Manufacturing will be more responsive and closer to customers – including a greater reliance on global markets. Patterns of global trade and investment will determine the relative importance of the countries to which the UK exports and from which it imports;
  • High-tech is likely to remain an area of UK advantage – currently at 4.7%, the UK’s share of global high technology manufacturing exports is relatively strong. Current high-tech sectoral strengths include pharmaceuticals, aerospace, chemicals, and the automotive sector;
  • There will be a greater reliance on higher-skilled workers as the sector moves away from elementary, process and heavy manufacturing and towards smaller more complex models.

CEO of Heathrow Airport, John Holland-Kaye commented: “Expanding Heathrow will supercharge Government plans for the Northern Powerhouse.

“Today, airlines operating from the UK’s hub are forced to make a false choice between developing new routes to cities like Chengdu and Mexico City and maintaining domestic services.

“That means exporters in areas like Merseyside, Humberside and Teesside are locked out of Heathrow, Britain’s biggest port by value. Every day we delay is a day we’re restricting the growth of British business.

Terry Scuoler, CEO, EEF
Terry Scuoler, CEO, EEF.

“It is time for Government to heed the unanimous and unambiguous recommendation of the Airports Commission. It’s time to expand Heathrow for the whole of the UK.”

Terry Scuoler, CEO of EEF, added: “Heathrow is a global freight hub and a crucial gateway for Britain’s manufacturing exporters, making its expansion the right choice for industry and the country.

“With the opportunity for growth and new jobs identified in this report, it reaffirms that it is important for the Government to make a clear choice and to press ahead with delivering this much-needed improvement to our national infrastructure.”