Thirteen of Britain’s largest construction and development companies have written to the Chancellor George Osborne urging him to live up to his mantra to “be the builders” and approve Heathrow expansion.
The letter, which highlights Britain’s relatively poor record in infrastructure investment relative to other OECD countries, sends a clear message that the UK’s “builders” are ready to deliver. Stressing that in a time of global economic uncertainty the UK can ill-afford to delay on a project worth £15.6 billion to the UK supply chain, it calls on the Chancellor to let them help create a better Britain by green-lighting what would be the nation’s largest privately-funded infrastructure project. Doing so would drive investment in the UK labour market, creating thousands of new skilled jobs while providing a legacy of high-profile expertise that can be sold around the world.
Tomorrow, Heathrow CEO John Holland-Kaye will address an audience of business leaders including the UK construction industry in his first speech since the Government’s response to the Airports Commission in December.
The full letter and signatory list is copied below:
The Rt Hon George Osborne MP
1 Horse Guards Road
5th February 2016
Dear Chancellor of the Exchequer,
Building UK Infrastructure
At the Conservative conference in 2015 you announced “we are the builders”. We congratulate you on your vision to build the important infrastructure the country needs and make the hard decisions. We represent some of the largest developers and construction companies in the UK. We applaud your ambition and stand ready to help you deliver it.
We are writing to encourage your support for Heathrow expansion. Heathrow is one of the biggest private developers in the UK, having invested around £11bn over the last 10 years. For over a decade, it has provided a steady base of work to UK construction companies and their supply chains, allowing them to invest in skilled UK jobs through the economic downturn, develop new off-site manufacturing techniques and provided an international showcase for their work so that they can sell their services around the world.
Projects such as Heathrow expansion allow companies like ours to continue to invest in tens of thousands of skilled jobs this country badly needs and new construction techniques that will benefit developers in the UK.
You said recently that we cannot be complacent and assume that ‘the good economic news will just keep rolling in. Last year was the worst for global growth since the crash and this year opens with a dangerous cocktail of new threats from around the world.’ Coupled with these threats is the OECD’s 2015 UK economic survey that said the UK has spent less on infrastructure than other OECD countries over the past three decades.
Heathrow expansion will bring with it a £15.6bn order book to the UK supply chain. Heathrow’s new plan will also make it the most sustainable hub airport and Britain the best connected country in the world. The Government’s Airports Commission gave its clear and unanimous backing last summer. Let us help you build a better Britain by expanding Heathrow.
Nick Roberts, Chief Executive Officer UK & Europe, Atkins
Leo Quinn, Group Chief Executive, Balfour Beatty
Stephen Fox CBE, Chief Executive, BAM Nuttall Ltd
Alasdair Reisner, Chief Executive, Civil Engineering Contractors Association (CECA)
Mario Mostoles, Managing Director UK & Ireland, Ferrovial Agroman
Toby Courtauld, Chief Executive, Great Portland Estates plc
Ray O'Rourke KBE, Chairman and Group Chief Executive, Laing O'Rourke Plc
Mark Reynolds, Chief Executive, Mace
Nick Fletcher, Managing Director Infrastructure, Morgan Sindall
Keith Howells, Chairman, Mott MacDonald
David Sleath, Chief Executive, SEGRO
Vincent Clancy, Chief Executive Officer, Turner & Townsend
Mark Dobson, Chief Executive, Wilson James Ltd