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Business supports London Luton Airport expansion plans, survey finds

BUSINESSES in Bedfordshire are backing expansion at London Luton Airport, a survey for the county’s Chamber of Commerce has found.

Almost nine in ten of those surveyed recognise that expansion will have a positive impact on the economy of the county and wider region, creating more jobs and enhancing the opportunities for inward investment.

London Luton’s plans to increase its annual passenger cap by one million from its current 18 million are currently awaiting the outcome of a public inquiry. In the survey, carried out by market research agency Opinium for the Chamber, 84 per cent raised no objection to the airport’s growth plans.

The survey results were revealed as the British Chambers of Commerce’s director-general Shevaun Haviland visited Luton to discuss current challenges and opportunities with business leaders. As well as visiting London Luton, she met with representatives from Vauxhall parent group Stellantis at their Luton van plant to dicsuss UK competitiveness, incentives and funding, the Zero Emissions Vehicle mandate and the pathway to electrification.

Ms Haviland is pictured above with Bedfordshire Chamber of Commerce chief executive Justin Richardson.

At the British Chambers of Commerce we are focussed on helping government understand these issues and building an agenda to drive future economic growth,” Ms Haviland said. “It is clear that both London Luton Airport and Vauxhall need to be supported to do just that.”

She was accompanied on her visit by Bedfordshire Chamber chief executive Justin Richardson. “We always tell our members that we represent them not only at a local, but also at a national level,” Mr Richardson said. “Shevaun’s presence shows exactly how that works to elevate the issues and opportunities of our local businesses and give them a voice not only locally but at the ‘top table’ of government.”

The survey of 116 businesses from Beds, Herts & Bucks reveals generally strong support for the proposal to expand the legal passenger limit at London Luton:

  • 84% of those surveyed had no objection to the airport’s expansion
  • 89% of those surveyed recognised positive impacts of expansion
  • 61% of those surveyed believed the expansion would create more jobs in the region, and 50% believed it would support the local economy
  • Two-thirds of those surveyed believed it would make increased investment in the area either more likely or much more likely

The findings argue in favour of an application by the airport to increase its annual passenger cap from 18 million to 19 million.

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