City of London – “We urge the Liberal Democrats to not stand in the way of Heathrow expansion”

The City of London Corporation has today called on the Liberal Democrats at their party conference to support Heathrow expansion because of its importance to the economy and the growth of the financial and professional services. The City Corporation, which supports and promotes the City as a world-leading financial and business hub, will have a number of representatives at this year’s conference.

The City will host a Brexit and financial services roundtable today (18 September) with the Social Market Foundation where Lord Ian Wrigglesworth will address an audience of City figures. This will be followed by a dinner on the Future of London with Caroline Pidgeon AM, Leader of the London Liberal Democrats, giving a speech.

Since 1996 the City Corporation has consistently supported airport expansion. In October 2015, the City Corporation’s Court of Common Council agreed to adopt a policy position supporting “the main recommendation for the expansion of Heathrow through the building of a third runway”. The City of London Corporation also welcomed the approval for a third runway at Heathrow to expand UK airport capacity in October 2016

During the conference, the City will make clear that in order for the City of London to compete on the global stage, the financial and professional services firms based in the UK need to be able to do business globally and to travel easily to emerging markets where economic opportunity is abundant.

According to Heathrow, 25.7m business travellers used the airport in 2016.With capacity near full, airport expansion, in particular at Heathrow, provides the solution. The final Airports Commission report stated it will generate up to £147 billion in GDP impacts over 60 years and over 70,000 new jobs by 2050. This would add regular daily services from the airport to around 40 new destinations, including 10-12 new long-haul route.

The City Corporation does however take the stance that airport expansion should not come at a cost to the local environment, air quality and communities. The City also welcomes the Liberal Democrats commitment to a £100 billion package of additional infrastructure investment in their 2017 Manifesto.

Leading the City of London Corporation’s attendance at the Liberal Democrat conference, Policy Chairman Catherine McGuinness said:

“The City, a national asset, is already facing a period of great uncertainty as a result of Brexit. To mitigate this we need to make sure that the business environment and infrastructure available to City firms supports their growth potential.

“Increased airport capacity at Heathrow is near the top of the list when we speak to firms about what can do to help them trade more, create jobs and invest for the future. We urge the Liberal Democrats to not stand in the way of Heathrow expansion.”

The City Corporation has previously supported the Let Britain Fly campaign, backed by numerous business groups and managed by London First. The completion of the Elizabeth Line will also support Heathrow expansion as the direct train journey time from Heathrow to the City of London (Liverpool Street) will reduce from 55 minutes to 35 minutes.

Notes to editors

  1. About the City of London Corporation

The City of London Corporation provides local government and policing services for the financial and commercial heart of Britain, the 'Square Mile'. In addition, the City Corporation has three roles:

  • We support London’s communities by working in partnership with neighbouring boroughs on economic regeneration, education and skills. In addition, the City of London Corporation’s charitable funder, City Bridge Trust, makes grants of around £20 million annually to tackle disadvantage across London.
  • We also help look after key London heritage and green spaces including Tower Bridge, the Museum of London, Barbican Arts Centre, City gardens, Hampstead Heath, Epping Forest, Burnham Beeches, and important commons in London.
  • We also support and promote the ‘City’ as a world-leading financial and business hub, with outward and inward business delegations, high-profile civic events and research-driven policies, all reflecting a long-term approach.

See for more details.