Work to create a logistics hub in West Cumbria for Heathrow's expansion will continue, despite plans for a third runway being thrown out.

Sellafield Ltd is leading a bid to create the hub at the former Alcan site in Lillyhall, after it was named as one of an 18-strong shortlist in contention for one of the four locations across the UK last year, which would pre-assemble components for the expansion and transport them to Heathrow.

However, yesterday saw the Court of Appeal reject the proposals for a third runway at Heathrow, because the Government had not considered its commitment to climate change.

The Government said it would not appeal, but Heathrow said it would go to the Supreme Court in a bid to overturn the ruling.

Gary McKeating, head of community and development for Sellafield Ltd, said: "We will continue engaging with the process until instructed otherwise.

"The work undertaken has been invaluable in terms of working up a compelling inward investment case around skills, expertise, and location.

"Costs were minimal; the bid was largely reliant on in-house resource at Sellafield Ltd and among our partners."

The West Cumbria bid was supported by Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership, Allerdale and Copeland councils, Britain's Energy Coast Business Cluster, then-Workington MP Sue Hayman and Copeland MP Trudy Harrison.

The successful locations were due to be announced early this year, with work to start in 2021.

The expansion project was expected to deliver up to £16 billion worth of economic benefits and create 15,300 jobs across the North West.

The case was brought by environmental campaigners, London mayor Sadiq Khan and a group of London councils.

Campaigners hailed yesterday’s Court of Appeal ruling as a victory, and said it had killed off plans for a third runway for good and that the project was now politically unacceptable.

However, Heathrow Airport insisted it will press on with expansion and will work with the Government on the climate change issue, with a spokeswoman saying it was “eminently fixable”.

Lords Justice Lindblom, Singh and Haddon-Cave said it was unlawful because then-Transport Secretary Chris Grayling failed to take account of the Government’s commitment to the Paris Agreement - committing to tackling climate change.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson opposed the expansion when he was London mayor and promised to “lie down in front of those bulldozers” to stop the runway being built.

Earlier this month, he said there was no immediate prospect of construction beginning.

Josh Hardie, CBI deputy-director general, said: “This decision raises a fair question of how to balance reaching the net zero target without stifling the UK’s global ambitions.

“All major projects must be consistent with net zero and it’s clear that the Government and aviation industry need to work closely to agree a robust decarbonisation plan.

“But this decision risks holding back the very investment in innovation needed to achieve that, and the ambitions of many businesses eager to benefit from greater international connectivity.

“It is vital that the Government and Heathrow work closely together to remedy the fair concerns raised by the judgement and keep this project on track. Opportunities for future trade will not wait.”