By Daniel Coyle, Director, Ryebridge Construction
LLA is making its biggest ever investment to transform the airport. The redevelopment will increase capacity by 50% to 18 million by 2020 and deliver a more efficient and enjoyable experience for passengers.
But the effects will not be felt only by the millions of passengers who choose to travel through LLA. Local businesses – like Ryebridge - will reap the benefits too.
We are just one such business to benefit from LLA’s growth. Having enjoyed a strong relationship with LLA since our formation eight years ago. We’ve just been awarded a £7 million contract to play our part in this exciting chapter of the airport’s history.
We share LLA’s commitment to supporting growth in the region. A relatively young company ourselves, the local community has always been at the heart of what we do. Most of our workforce is drawn from in and around Luton. We’re proud to have three generations of one family all working for us, even sponsoring the youngest through his university degree course.
Securing large local projects like this one is vital in ensuring we can sustain and grow this level of support for the local community. The latest contract will directly support 40 local jobs, including three apprenticeships.
Around one third of LLA’s suppliers come from a 30-mile radius of the airport. Likewise, Ryebridge is also using a local supply chain wherever possible. Working together our aim is to ensure the project at LLA has the greatest impact on the lives and businesses of the local community.
So what can passengers expect to see? At the minute, we’re creating four new aircraft stands and extending the taxiway. Both are due to be completed by the end of this year, and will help enable more people to fly through LLA and improve the efficiency of flights.
Luton’s business scene is thriving right now. The government recently announced funding for a new Enterprise Zone at the airport. Momentum behind the new 17,500-seater Power Court stadium for Luton Town Football Club is growing. The Luton Investment Framework announced last year is looking to deliver developments worth £1.5 billion over the next 20 years.
There’s no doubt that the airport is playing a huge role in the optimism around the town. The figures speak for themselves. In 2013, LLA supported 15,000 local jobs, generating £732 million for the economy in the Three Counties region. LLA’s current expansion means that this is expected to increase to 22,000 jobs and £1.2 billion by 2030.
We’re excited to play a role in a project which is delivering jobs, improved facilities and new opportunities. But the partnership goes beyond these tangible benefits – we’re also proud to be working with a company with shared values. For both Ryebridge and LLA, supporting the local community is at the forefront of our growth.