Blog

20 March 2015

The Power of 3

At MIPIM last week, East Midlands Airport chaired a session on the importance and opportunities of bringing together Leicester Derby and Nottingham in a more collaborative approach to inspire and drive forwards the East Midlands.

The airport sits between all 3 cities and draws on cities and counties to drive both its freight and passenger business and also its workforce.  Some 10,000 people currently work at the airport and it is a vital economic asset to our area. The airport is ambitious to grow – both in passenger numbers and freight operation and a new freight hub. to be developed by RoxHill, forming the East Midlands Gateway, will be located immediately to the north of the airport and is already well advanced.

East Midlands Airport Aerial Photo

East Midlands Airport as seen from the air

Moreover, the HS2 East Midlands Rail Hub is only one junction away and thus provides a real opportunity to improve connectivity to the airport along our key transport corridors – both rail and road.

The session to an extent was a ‘call to arms’ for greater collaboration across the 3 cities to raise the profile of the East Midland, particularly in response to the Northern Powerhouse, and the opportunities of an overheating London.

Why is the airport not larger? Why have the East Midlands not attracted more Government departments or regional headquarters? Are we fully leveraging the freight hub to mobilise exporting from local manufacturing and engineering companies, reshoring and potential of inward investment?

The session made a compelling argument –by the three cities working more collaboratively and in a more joined-up way we would have wider visibility for the East Midlands -  strong performing cities are important to their less urban hinterlands.

David Ralph,
Chief Executive,
D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership