North West Leicestershire
If you have ever travelled on the British motorway network, then the chances are that you have visited my constituency of North West Leicestershire. My seat, which is co-terminus with the district council of the same name, is bisected in its north eastern corner by the M1.
But less than a minute away from where our Mother Road divides North West Leicestershire you are in wonderful rolling countryside, agriculture and picturesque chocolate box villages whose names – Breedon on the Hill, Appleby Magna and Staunton Harold – evoke a rural idyll.
Contrary to popular perception, East Midlands Airport sits in North West Leicestershire. It may have a Derby postal address, at one time there was even a much derided dalliance in these parts with naming it after our Nottingham neighbours, but it is very much Leicestershire.
Beginning life as a Second World War airfield, RAF Castle Donington entered commercial operations in the 1960s.
And while many local people first encountered the delights of package holidays flying from East Midlands Airport, it has quietly grown to a business employing 9,000 people across the site and bringing £300m GVA contribution to our regional economy.
What is lesser known though is that East Midlands Airport is now the UK’s largest dedicated cargo hub airport, handling more than one million packages every single day.
Of course, like many businesses relying on passengers, the airport has had a tough pandemic – albeit increased cargo activity has been a lifeline.
Just like the M1, East Midlands Airport plays a quietly pivotal role in our transport infrastructure. You may not notice North West Leicestershire, but set amongst our stunning scenery we’re playing an essential part in the nation’s distribution network.