Back to Blog

Mersey chamber chief hits out at delay to Heathrow runway decision

Jenny Stewart CEO of Liverpool & Sefton Chambers of Commerce, says the Government has missed the chance to boost UK firms.

A “golden opportunity” to offer British businesses a major dose of positivity has been missed after the Government put back a decision on a third runway for Heathrow Airport, a Liverpool business leader says.

Jenny Stewart, chief executive of Liverpool & Sefton Chambers of Commerce, is firmly behind the third runway proposal believing it will open up regional air routes and boost the economy of the Liverpool city region.

Last week the Government said that due to the question marks over the Tory leadership following the EU Referendum, no decision on airport capacity in the South East would be made until at least October.

Heathrow has promised UK regions access to its worldwide hub if it were to secure the go-ahead for a third runway and said it will establish a £10m route development fund.

The plan has received widespread support in the Liverpool city region with supporters including Liverpool John Lennon Airport.

Liverpool & Sefton Chamber represents more than 1,600 businesses and Ms Stewart told ECHO Business: ““Having once again postponed a decision on airport expansion, Government has failed to take advantage of a golden opportunity to give British businesses a reason for positivity. “In our initial reaction to the referendum result, we challenged Government to provide quick, decisive and co-ordinated action, particularly regarding key infrastructure projects.

“More than ever before, Britain needs to be globally connected – so our exporters can broaden their horizons, so our suppliers can reach new markets and so Britain can continue to attract foreign investment.

“Infrastructure projects are key to job creation and growth, both of which can instil business confidence, something which is much needed of late.

“This was an early chance for Government to re-establish optimism, clarity and belief.

“Instead, by choosing once again to delay, government has simply added to the feeling of discontent and uncertainty amongst both the business community and the wider public.”

As part of its push to secure a third runway, Heathrow set up a stand at Liverpool’s International Festival for Business in June. Chief executive, John Holland-Kaye, delivered a speech at the event.