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Gatwick launches first ever Summer Festival

The festival comes as Gatwick celebrates its 60th anniversary and will see the introduction of the airport’s very own draught ale.

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Tom Sommerfelt and Charlie Grant get into the Summer Festival spirit at Gatwick

London Gatwick has launched its first ever airport-wide festival to celebrate the start of the British summer in style.

Diverse in-terminal entertainment and exclusive products are on offer for the 12 million passengers expected to travel through the airport between now and the end of August – and Gatwick is even giving away a total of £5,000 in vouchers across the summer to get passengers’ holidays off to a flying start.

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For the Summer Festival – which comes as Gatwick celebrates its 60th anniversary year – the airport has partnered with World Duty Free, who are offering “festival glow” 10-minute makeovers to passengers in-store at the MAC counter, as well as several other express treatments from other brands, free of charge. The retailer has also launched a number of exclusives across their entire product range, including fragrances, drinks, sunglasses and summer sun-care.

For the first time ever, World Duty Free has introduced two new spirits that are both completely exclusive to Gatwick. The first is a Sour Cherry and Coconut Gin Liqueur, created by St Andrews-based distillery Eden Mill, while the other exclusive is Caribbean-sourced white rum Democrático – the perfect base for inspired cocktail creations!

Both spirits can be enjoyed in cocktails that are being served in World Duty Free, as well as in restaurants throughout the airport during the summer. The ‘Summer Sling’ – made with the Eden Mill Gin Liqueur – is available in the Nicholas Culpeper restaurant, home of the world’s first airport gin distillery, while the Democrático Rum is the main ingredient in the ‘Summer Festival Rum Punch’, available in Giraffe and WonderTree. A special edition, non-alcoholic “mocktail” is also being served.

Festival fun takes over terminal

Gatwick’s Summer Festival will also transform the airport’s North and South terminals into fully-fledged festival fun-zones, with top family entertainment being staged throughout the summer.

A wide range of acts will make appearances at the airport, from calypso group The Caribana Steel Band, to street theatre duo Hodman and Sally, whose many Glastonbury performances have gained them a huge following. A number of traditional fairground stalls, such as hoopla and hook-a-duck, will also help to bring extra festival vibes to the terminal.

Several lucky passengers will be heading off on holiday with some additional goodies too, as Gatwick is giving away a total of £1,000 in airport vouchers every Friday for five weeks to passengers taking part in the various fairground activities.

Local brewery creates Gatwick Ale

The launch of Gatwick’s Summer Festival also sees the introduction of the airport’s very own draught ale. Gatwick has partnered with the Westerham Brewery Company, a local real ale producer based in the town of Westerham, Kent – just 12 miles from the airport – to create a bespoke extra pale ale, fittingly named ‘The Toast of the Terminal’.

‘The Toast of the Terminal’ has been created exclusively for Gatwick by Westerham Brewery in Kent

The zesty ale, available in Gatwick’s Flying Horse, Red Lion and Beehive restaurants, is an international blend that also remains true to its local roots, brewed with hops from Kent, as well as Germany and the USA.

Plus, along with Westerham Brewery, another local drinks maker is also playing a big part in Gatwick’s Summer Festival. Squerryes vintage sparkling wine, produced nearby to Gatwick on the Squerryes Estate vineyard in Kent, can be enjoyed by passengers at the airport’s two Caviar House & Prunier seafood bars – with Gatwick being the only airport in the world to stock the remarkable wine.

Rachel Bulford, Head of Retail, Gatwick Airport said:

“Summer has officially begun at Gatwick and we couldn’t be more excited about the range of exclusive products now available in our shops and restaurants as part of the airport’s first Summer Festival. It’s our goal to provide passengers with unique, memorable experiences as they travel through our terminals, and with the launch of our very own gin liqueur, rum and pale ale – as well as delicious Gatwick cocktails and mocktails – there really is something special on offer for everyone this summer.

“Passengers should also keep an eye out for our big voucher giveaways, as a pre-flight spending spree in the airport’s many retail outlets is sure to be an incredible way to kick off your 2018 summer holiday, quite literally, in style.”

Kathryn Kindness, Commercial Category Manager, World Duty Free said:

The Gatwick Summer Festival is a fantastic event and a perfect platform to showcase some new and exclusive products. We’ve collaborated with our brand partners to introduce on-trend summer products, which we believe will appeal to the Gatwick Airport customer.”

Robert Wicks, Founder and Managing Director, Westerham Brewery said:

“Westerham Brewery is proud to announce this collaboration with Gatwick Airport on a refreshing summer beer – ‘The Toast of the Terminal’. This extra pale ale contains only the finest locally-sourced malt, as well as three unique hops: Kent’s own First Gold, Yakima Valley Cascade from the USA, and Hallertauer Perle from Germany, making it a truly international ale with a distinctly English twist. ‘The Toast of the Terminal’ has a spicy, floral aroma and a zesty, dry finish, making it the perfect start to any summer holiday!”

James Osborn, General Manager, Squerryes said:

“To be able to share our passion for vintage sparkling wine at the best airport in the country is a fantastic opportunity and we’re proud to be able to share our latest 2013 Brut, a delicious blend of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Meunier that reflects the purity and energy of our Pilgrim’s Way vineyard, high up on the North Downs.”

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Businesses show their support for Gatwick’s growth as protesters continue their campaign

With only four days left before the consultation closes, 29 companies and business organisations that together represent over 25,000 companies Sussex, Surrey, Kent and London have come out in support of Gatwick’s plans.

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With only four days left before the consultation closes, 29 companies and business organisations that together represent over 25,000 companies Sussex, Surrey, Kent and London have come out in support of Gatwick’s plans. The open letter to Stewart Wingate, the airport’s CEO, is signed by organisations including Chambers of Commerce, the Federation of Small Business and sector specific associations (full list below).

In the letter the business organisations describe Gatwick as ‘a linchpin of the regional economy and a significant national asset’ that contributes ’over £5bn to UK GDP and supports 85,000 jobs.’  It goes on to say:

As the UK heads into a new chapter, Gatwick will have a vital role to play in fuelling trade, tourism and commerce, and providing links to global markets. When Gatwick thrives and grows, so too does the national and regional economy, so the airport’s growth ambitions deserve our full support.’

Clearly this growth should not be at any cost, and given our businesses and employees are based in the local communities in and around the airport, we fully understand that the impacts of expansion need to be considered and carefully managed.

‘But we believe the strength of Gatwick’s plans lies in their simplicity. By unlocking much-needed new capacity from within the airport’s existing runways and footprint, Gatwick’s growth plans are a low-impact way of delivering significant benefits.’

We are firmly in support of Gatwick’s plans which we believe will play a crucial role in allowing our businesses, our employees and our region to continue to prosper.’

The support from businesses comes one month after 75% of residents surveyed across Sussex, Surrey and Kent said that they also supported Gatwick’s growth plans, with just 14% opposing.

The public consultation on Gatwick’s draft master plan runs until 10 January 2019 and can be accessed here

Stewart Wingate, Chief Executive Officer, Gatwick Airport, said:

“This vote of confidence in our plans for growth is particularly powerful as organisations representing over 25,000 businesses have thrown their weight behind our draft master plan. 

“Businesses know we can’t take the region’s economic growth for granted. By sending this letter they recognise the airport’s vital role in creating local jobs and opportunities, and that growing Gatwick is essential for the future prosperity of our region.

“With only a few days left I would like to encourage as many people as possible to take part in our ongoing consultation to show their support for the airport’s growth plans.”

But protesters like CAGNE (Communities Against Gatwick Noise and Emissions) say the effect of any part of the plan would be highly detrimental for all residents.

In a recent statement they said:

“This master plan simply blights these areas again to the threat of airport expansion beyond 2030. The fact remains that Gatwick was not selected by the Airport Commission due to lack of unemployment in the surrounding counties; lack of connectivity to the rest of the UK and the world; it is predominantly used for European leisure travel.”

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