Guest column: Heathrow plan could mean jobs boom for this area

Ben Bradley MP
Ben Bradley MP

This week I visited Laing O’Rourke at Worksop to meet with the chamber of commerce and local business leaders along with representatives from Heathrow Airport.

It might seem odd to think that Heathrow, on the outskirts of London, would present a huge opportunity for us in north Notts, but it’s absolutely true.

The expansion of Heathrow should get voted on in Parliament this summer. Should it go through, the plan is to build much of the new infrastructure in manufacturing hubs around the country, and Worksop has made it on to the ’long list’ to be one of those hubs. Not only is it on the list of potential sites but Laing O’Rourke’s history of completing jobs like this, including Manchester Airport and CrossRail, make it a front runner to be named as one of the four confirmed sites early in 2019.

I met onsite with John Mann, Labour MP for Bassetlaw, and between us and other local MPs we are all supporting this bid in Parliament. In fact next month I am hosting key stakeholders at an event on behalf of Heathrow, to ensure they know that all of our political weight is behind bringing this opportunity to our area.

If successful, it would mean up to 700 new jobs within 30 minutes of Mansfield including skilled and well paid engineering and manufacturing jobs, as well as training and apprenticeship opportunities for the long term. That’s the kind of investment that would transform the economy of our area and make a huge difference to the lives of local residents. Not only is it new jobs, but also a new incentive for local schools and colleges to focus on science and engineering skills to fill those roles — a fantastic new opportunity for our young people too.

I’m backing the bid to bring 700 engineering jobs to our area, and it’s one more thing on the list of big opportunities for Mansfield in the coming years