Heathrow runway centre should be at Ballykelly: MP

Gregory Campbell MP and George Robinson MLA pictured at the Shackleton Barracks in Ballykelly. INLV4111-202KDR
Gregory Campbell MP and George Robinson MLA pictured at the Shackleton Barracks in Ballykelly. INLV4111-202KDR

The selection of Ballykelly as a construction centre for the planned Heathrow expansion project would attract much needed “above-average salary” jobs to the Derry area, DUP MP Gregory Campbell has said.

Mr. Campbell told Minister of State for the North, John Penrose, that locating one of four ‘Heathrow Logistics Hubs’ at the former Shackleton Barracks site would provide a huge boost to the local economy.

“Employment levels are improving but does [Mr. Penrose] agree that we need to attract above-average salary levels now to try to grow the economy?

“In that respect, the Heathrow logistics hub is an excellent project. Will he join me in pressing and persuading those behind the hub to look at Ballykelly, which is a very attractive environment?” asked the East Derry MP.

The Minister described Mr. Campbell as “a doughty battler for his constituents and for his constituency”.

“I am sure that those involved will have heard his words and will be considering them carefully, but he is right about that and many other examples of important local investment in Northern Ireland,” he said.

The MJM Marine owned former RAF and British Army site has been listed among 18 sites across Britain and the North that are still in the running for selection as logistics hubs and supply bases for the new Heathrow runway project.

“The final four sites will become offsite construction centres that will help to deliver Britain’s new runway bringing jobs and economic opportunities to every corner of the country as Heathrow looks to construct as much of the expanded airport offsite as possible,” according to the Heathrow expansion project team.

An announcement on the final four hubs is expected early next year, with work expected to start as early as 2021.