Keeping our capital working for the UK

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London business calls for increased airport capacity to ensure future competitiveness

London First, the influential business organisation representing 300 leading employers, today said that increasing airport capacity in London was essential for maintaining the UK’s competitiveness.

Chief Executive, Baroness Jo Valentine responded to BAA’s announcement of revised plans for a second runway at Stansted. She said:

Increasing airport capacity in the capital is key to remaining competitive in the face of mounting challenges from European rivals. One in seven jobs in London is created by multinationals investing in the UK and, as the recent Eddington Transport Study stated, investors see London’s international connections as a vital factor in their investment decisions.

“London is booming, but we must not rest on our laurels. Our international competitors for inward investment continue to invest in their transport infrastructure. London must not be left behind.”

Notes to Editors

Access to air services is an important factor for 25 per cent of companies across the whole economy in influencing where they locate their operations within the UK. Nearly one in ten companies report that the absence of good air transport links has affected their organisation’s decisions to invest in the UK. Of these, 30% chose not to make the investment in the UK. [The Economic Contribution of Aviation – Oxford Economic Forecasting 2006]

London First is a business membership group whose aim is to improve and promote London with the objective of ensuring that London maintains and enhances its position as a leading world city. London First mobilises the experience, expertise and enthusiasm of the private sector to develop practical solutions to the challenges facing London and lobbies central and London government for the investment that London needs in its infrastructure.

London First delivers its activities with the support of 300 of the capital’s major businesses in key sectors such as finance, professional services, property, ICT, creative industries, hospitality and retail. Membership also includes all of London’s higher education institutions as well as further education colleges and NHS hospital trusts. London First members represent 26% of London’s GDP.

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