Report calls for Stansted Airport to be expanded

Stansted Airport.

Stansted Airport. - Credit: Archant

Stansted Airport should be expanded and transport links improved, according to an independent report published last week.

The London Stansted Cambridge Corridor Growth Commission called for the expansion and improvements to transport infrastructure as well as more affordable housing and investment in workforce skills.

The report, published on July 14, outlines a 20-year vision for the corridor, which would see it challenging other top knowledge areas in the world, such as Silicon Valley, Greater Munich and emerging regions in Asia.

According to the report, economic output in the corridor has grown by 6.1 per cent since the recession, compared with the UK average of 3.7 per cent and productivity is 16 per cent higher than the national average.

The commission also claims that the corridor is home to some of the country’s fastest growing towns and cities, accounting for 10 per cent of England’s population growth.

Despite this, the commission has warned that the region is being outpaced by comparable zones around the world.

Growth commission chairman Sir Harvey McGrath said: “This report shows that if we have the ambition and the willingness to act collaboratively we can build a truly world leading economy.

Most Read

“We identify the main challenges hindering business investment; the lack of workforce skills, housing and transport capacity. We are not asking for grants from government, but the freedoms and flexibilities to utilitise private investment and global capital to reach our goals.”

Growth commissioner Dr Gerard Lyons said: “The EU referendum result offers huge opportunities, despite near-term uncertainties. The global opportunities for this region are considerable, but there is an urgent need to upgrade the transport infrastructure and build more affordable housing.

“With a global Brexit solution we can strengthen access to high skilled talent and finance, provide more employment and build our high-knowledge economy. This region is well placed to help rebalance the UK economy and play an ever stronger global role.”

Chris Wiggan, Stansted’s head of external affairs, said: “We’re delighted that the independent growth commission has recognised the pivotal role Stansted plays as an economic driver at the heart of the corridor, and its potential to deliver the aviation capacity and growth opportunities needed to fuel the burgeoning hi-tech and life science hubs.

“Yet, if we are to realise the full potential of the airport and the corridor, we need to be serious about investing in our transport infrastructure to help business connect to the global marketplace, equipping our young people with the skills of tomorrow and working collaboratively to boost economic growth and development.”