A £16 billion privately-funded stimulus package has been promised if Heathrow expansion gets the government green light.
The pledge came in a letter to new prime minister Theresa May by the UK’s largest pension fund which is amongst the owners of the west London hub.
The Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS), alongside shareholder investment partners in the airport from Canada, China, Qatar, Singapore, Spain and the US, claimed that expansion of Heathrow would boost the economy, create jobs and leave a legacy of skills across the country.
Heathrow’s shareholders together control over $1 trillion in fund and have committed to invest £16 billion if approval is given for an extra runway, as recommended last summer by the Airports Commission.
A decision on a new runway at either Heathrow or Gatwick is not expected until at least October, after the parliamentary summer recess.
May told MPs during her first prime ministers questions yesterday that “the cabinet and government will be taking a decision on this in the proper way in due course”.
However, Heathrow continued to stress its case by unveiling new designs for an expanded airport.
“Visionary concept designs” by architecture firm Grimshaw were selected from a shortlist of four of the UK’s top architects.
Plans include a third runway and access to the new London Crossrail link.
Grimshaw partner Andrew Thomas said: “We believe the expansion of Heathrow is vital to maintaining the UK’s place within the global economy and we look forward to developing a design that provides an authentic and uniquely British sense of place.
“Our concept will deliver an outstanding passenger experience by building upon the airport’s rich history, while also setting a new standard for the future of aviation.”
Heathrow chief executive John Holland-Kaye said: “At a time of uncertainty, a £16bn privately-funded infrastructure investment will create jobs and growth across the UK.
“We have a real opportunity to build a better future for communities across our country and help fulfil the prime minister’s vision for the UK.”
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