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Speculation grows over sale of Gatwick Airport

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The start of 2018 has already brought speculation that there may be an imminent sale of Gatwick Airport.

With a national newspaper reporting the speculation it has done nothing but stir up the interests from local businesses and leaders of how this would affect the local economy and infrastructure.

Suggested reports of huge increases in dividend payments due to the large swell in passenger numbers over the past year do indicate a rapid growth for the countries second busiest airport but also add fuel to the logic of a sale.

Currently owned between a plethora of investors and GIP, Global Infrastructure Partners, Gatwick has seen numerous improvements and advances since it was bought from BAA back in 2009.

Recently more exciting news came when Crawley Council approved the building of a new multi-million pound maintenance hub for Boeing at Gatwick, bringing even more jobs to the area.

What is uncertain though, is if a sale was to go ahead, whether it would occur before or after a decision on the second runway, as this would have huge implications on the airports value.

Local leaders have already commented on the speculation;

Crawley MP Henry Smith said:

“Ever since BAA sold Gatwick to GIP almost a decade ago the airport has been seen as an investment asset and if transferred again now it’s no great surprise. The positive of Gatwick’s private ownership is the over £1 billion which its owners have put in.

Crawley people should be cautious though that any further airport sale isn’t just about getting an extra runway, taking the profit and leaving local people with the cost of providing the rail, road and housing infrastructure that would be needed with such expansion.”
Jeremy Taylor, Chief Executive of Gatwick Diamond Business, commented:

“it’s not a surprise to see this speculation on the possible sale of Gatwick Airport.  When GIP bought the airport in 2009 the financial method they used had a 10-12 year life and we’ve seen 58% already sold to Institutional Investors.”

“The bigger question is around the next runway as that decision will have a big impact on the value of Gatwick and, of course on the likely owners. 

To my mind, it makes sense for GIP to hold onto their investment and to be the people behind the development of Gatwick’s second runway; something we continue to lobby for.”

Steve Sawyer, Executive Director of Manor Royal Business District Ltd said:

“The important thing for us is that, if Gatwick is sold, we maintain good relations with the owners and they understand the various relationships between the airport and surrounding area, including Manor Royal. 

Since GIP has taken over Gatwick has flourished. I’m sure it’s even more attractive to a prospective buyer than it was and would be more so with permission to expand.
Some have speculated that GIP would sell at some point, so perhaps no major surprise but we will have to see.
It’s not a particular concern provided we can maintain positive relations to ensure the airport can succeed alongside and as part of the success of the area as a whole and not to its detriment. “
A spokesperson for Gatwick said they do not comment on speculation.

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  1. Jeremy Taylor

    2nd January 2018 at 2:08 pm

    But Henry supports a third Runway at Heathrow which will incur at least £8bn of public expenditure on road & rail infrastructure & housing … paid for by local people.

    Come on Henry, get behind Gatwick & the infrastructure that could benefit your constituents!

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Business

Crawley Borough Council award grants to two local businesses

Two business start-ups have got a leg up through Crawley Borough Council’s Small Business Grants Scheme.

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The Company Connector Ltd and Haus of FLVR are the latest companies to benefit from a council grant, which awards small businesses with up £2,000.

Manor Royal-based business, The Company Connector Ltd, will support local businesses with finding new clients and opportunities as well as encouraging inward investment from overseas. The company has already supported a number of Crawley businesses on a consultancy basis and helped to generate new business.

More news: Councillor Francis Guidera: Supporting Thomas Bennett

The council awarded The Company Connector Ltd with the maximum amount of £2,000, assisting the start-up and first year costs. The financial boost has helped to establish the brand, website and social media, along with the necessary furniture and computer equipment.

Jeremy Taylor, Managing Director of The Company Connector Ltd, said:

“I am delighted to have been awarded this grant, it will contribute towards the set up and immediate development plans of the business including our first mission to Austin, Texas.

“In addition, the grant will enable us to support local businesses reach overseas markets as well as encouraging inward investment from other business centres. I applaud the council for recognising it costs a lot to establish a business that creates new jobs; this assistance is well received”

Haus of FLVR, a company that produces high quality alcohol infused frozen goods, received £2,000 from the Small Business Grant Scheme. The businesses main aims are to create an exciting, affordable and aesthetically pleasing product that brings a fresh and fashionable approach to ice lollies and canapés.

Samara Gidden, Director of Haus of FLVR, said:

“We are thrilled to receive funding to help produce a creative packaging solution that is luxurious and eco-friendly – both prerequisites will work in cohesion.

“We look forward to developing our packaging further and drive our business forward.”

Cabinet member for Planning and Economic Development, Councillor Peter Smith, said: “I’m pleased that we can offer two start-up businesses a £2,000 grant.

“It’s important to support businesses in the initial stages; it helps them to get off the ground and positively contributes towards the town’s economic climate.”

The grants scheme is for small businesses with less than 50 employees who operate in the Crawley area.

All Small Business Support Grants projects must be match-funded at least 50 per cent by the small business. Apprenticeship grants up to £1,500 are also available and don’t need to be match-funded.

For more information about business grants and funding visit www.crawley.gov.uk/business

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