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Gatwick to support summer of community events

Supporting a number of events over summer, Gatwick will also become the Community Parade Sponsor for Brighton Pride again for 2018.

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London Gatwick has announced it’s supporting another busy programme of local community events across the South East this summer.

Some of these events include: St Catherine’s Hospice’s Midnight Walk, Horley Carnival, Crawley High Street Live, Gatton Country Fair, Big Bang Fair South East and Brighton Pride, which attracted over 300,000 people last year.

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As part of the programme, which focuses on projects that bring communities together and have a lasting, positive impact on large numbers of local people across three counties, the airport is supporting this year’s St Catherine’s Hospice Midnight Walk, which takes place on 9 June.

Gatwick is the main sponsor for the second year in a row with the airport’s staff supporting more than 1,000 walkers as they make their way around Horsham by moonlight. This year’s walk is the biggest ever for the local charity and it is hoped the event will raise £125,000 to help care for local terminally ill people and their family and friends.

The airport will also be headline sponsor for Horley Carnival on 16 June and both Crawley High Street live and Gatton Country Fair on 1 July, three events which celebrate some of the best local talent with live music, parades and stalls for all of the family to enjoy.

In addition, Gatwick will be sponsoring the Big Bang Fair South East at the South of England Showground in Ardingly on 27 and 28 June, which is one of the flagship events in the airport’s education programme – ‘Inspire, Inform, Invest’ – highlighting the importance and relevance of Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) subjects in the world of work.

Rounding off a busy summer, Gatwick will once again be the Community Parade Sponsor for Brighton Pride on 4 August and will be leading the parade with a branded bus and a walking party of 150 airport staff. The lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community event has become the UK’s biggest Pride festival with more than 300,000 people participating last year.

The schedule of events follows the airport’s high profile sponsorship of the Brighton Marathon Weekend back in April, for the second year in a row, which saw almost 18,000 runners and more than 150,000 spectators take to the streets of Brighton and over 3,000 young people enter the mini mile for free as a result of Gatwick’s sponsorship.

Gatwick’s Head of Community Engagement, Alison Addy, said:

“We are proud to be supporting our local neighbours across such a variety of community events, not only on the south coast but for the whole of the south east.

“These events play an important role in bringing communities together and we are committed to addressing the social and environmental issues that matter to local people.”

St Catherine’s Hospice Philanthropy Manager, Sophie Peckham, said:

“This years’ Midnight Walk is our biggest to date and we’re thrilled to have Gatwick Airport being part of the event again this year. We’re looking forward to welcoming all our walkers.”

Brighton & Hove Pride Managing Director, Paul Kemp, said:

“We’re thrilled to have Gatwick Airport once again partner with us on the Community Parade. We are thankful to them and all our business partners as their financial contributions helps the sustainability of Pride’s fundraising objectives that directly benefit the people of Sussex.”

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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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