Small and Medium Sized Enterprises are called to help deliver an expanded Heathrow for Britain, as Airport launches regional supply tour.

  •  Heathrow commits to jobs for regional SMEs with its first ever Business Summit South West
  • SMEs to play a larger role in the airport’s supply chain to deliver for Britain
  • South West set for over £170 million jobs bonanza with Heathrow expansion
  • The Summit will give businesses insider access to some of Heathrow’s major suppliers to help them win new contracts at Heathrow both today and over the upcoming £16bn expansion project.

 As Heathrow prepares to take its major suppliers on the road for the first ever Business Summit South West, the hub is lining up more local SMEs to help deliver its multi-billion-pound expansion project for Britain.

Heathrow has announced that it will host a free Business Summit in the South West as part of its commitment to creating jobs in every corner of the UK. Local SMEs are being encouraged to register for a unique chance to meet face-to-face with Heathrow’s Tier 1 suppliers and win contracts at the airport.

 SMEs already play a crucial role in Heathrow’s supply chain – with the airport spending over £1.5 billion annually with more than 1,200 suppliers from around the UK – and there are significant opportunities for more regional businesses to supply the UK’s biggest airport not only today, but in the future. Heathrow is starting work on its expansion plans in what is the largest privately funded infrastructure project in the UK and a more diverse supply chain is critical to deliver it on time and on budget.

 South West businesses have been forecast to gain more than £170 million from the construction of a new runway and terminal facilities. The Summit will encourage SMEs to have the confidence and the support they need to access Heathrow’s supply chain today and unlock economic opportunities that will help to secure jobs for the region with both expansion and current operations. By supplying one of the world’s most well-known airports, SMEs will have strong credentials which they can leverage in other supply contracts.  

 Heathrow Expansion Programme Director Phil Wilbraham said:

 “We’ve seen South West businesses deliver for construction of Terminal 2 and we’re calling on more to deliver an expanded Heathrow. The hub used hundreds of suppliers to deliver the £2.5 billion Terminal 2 infrastructure project, many of which were SMEs from across the UK – including contracts delivered by South West suppliers totalling an estimated £11 million.

“We want as much as possible to be built off site, with a British supply chain – creating jobs and growth while we build and a legacy of skills that Britain can export round the world. To do this, we need more regional SMEs in Heathrow’s supply chain to deliver innovative and affordable solutions for Britain.”

The South West has a strong history in manufacturing and renewables – skills which are critical to keep the airport running now and into the future. This event presents a great opportunity for Heathrow to tap into that expertise and strengthen links with local business.

 Devon Chamber of Commerce Chief Executive George Cowcher said:

 “Devon businesses can benefit from the Airport’s expansion, and it is a great opportunity to meet directly with Heathrow’s major suppliers to find out more about these prospects. The Summit will enable the face-to-face meetings that help to cement relationships and connect businesses to opportunities. Devon Chamber of Commerce supports Heathrow’s growth and it would be fantastic to see more South West firms engaged in the supply chain.”

The event, hosted by the Devon Chamber of Commerce, will consist of speed-dating style sessions of interviews with procurement managers representing businesses based at the airport. By forging connections and winning new business, SMEs have the opportunity to enter Heathrow’s supply chain before development work begins as well as using the airport’s international presence to project their brand globally.

 The Business Summit South West is part of a suite of regional events that will complement Heathrow’s flagship Summit which is now in its 21st year and takes place at the airport each November.

 Registration for the Summit is now open and further information can be found at  

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