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Local community projects invited to apply for Gatwick Funding

London Gatwick is inviting community projects that support widening young people’s horizons, families and older people in Sussex, Surrey and Kent to apply for funding from the Gatwick Foundation Fund.

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The fund distributes a total of £300,000 in grants each year, with projects in each county receiving £100,000 a year. 175 organisations and more than 73,000 people have benefited since the fund launched in late 2016, including: 

  • 55 projects in Sussex helping to support 27,610 people
  • 63 projects in Surrey helping to support 30,845 people
  • 57 projects in Kent helping to support 15,000 people

Gatwick has produced five short films showcasing some of the important work that these projects do to support local people. 

The Posh Club is one project that has benefited from a grant.

Three rounds of grants are announced each year and a full list of the latest projects to receive funding in each county can be found below.

Alison Addy, Head of Community Engagement, Gatwick Airport said: “We are delighted to be awarding another round of grants from our Foundation Fund to community projects across the region. 

“The Gatwick Foundation Fund is designed to share the benefits the airport generates among local people and communities, in addition to the many other economic contributions Gatwick brings to the region. We welcome applications from all projects that support families, older people, communities, and education.”

Rosie Elkins, Signposts (Mid Sussex) – a Burgess Hill-based project that helps people with disabilities – said: “Thanks to the Gatwick Foundation Fund, Signposts will be able to continue providing one to one counselling sessions, which are delivered free to our clients. It will also fund our Saturday Club, which is very popular and is a vital social activity for our clients”.

Rev Paddy MacBain, All Saints Church Danehill, which supports the local community, said: “We are hugely grateful to the Gatwick Foundation Fund for supporting our kitchen extension and disabled toilet project for the church at Chelwood Gate. This will make a real difference to people of all ages in this community, from the young people to those who are vulnerable and elderly.”

Maggie May, Merstham Community Café, which provides affordable and nutritious food for the local residents, said: “The Merstham Community Cafe would like to extend grateful thanks to Gatwick for their kind donation towards our funds, to open later and feed children after school with nutritious, healthy food. This provides a great alternative to fast-food and offers them a safe and welcoming atmosphere to do their homework and be properly nourished before going home.”

Graeme Connell MBE, West Kent Debt Advice – providing debt and money advice with branches in Sevenoaks, Tonbridge and Tunbridge Wells – said: “Personal debt is a massive and growing problem in this country and gnaws away at the very fabric of society as statistics showing the link to suicides illustrates.  Along with other charities operating in our field we can and do make a difference, but without the backing of organisations like The Gatwick Foundation Fund and Kent Community Foundation it would be very difficult.

Viv Hughes, Tunbridge Wells Welcomes Refugees, which helps refugee families said: “The grant is invaluable because it removes the need for us to be constantly thinking about raising funds and enables us to do the work for which we were set up. We help refugee families in myriads of ways which are already changing from very basic provision to helping younger people into higher education, finding meaningful work, constantly improving English and ensuring, especially for new families, that social isolation does not happen.”

How to apply

Sussex, Surrey and Kent Community Foundations manage the programme and assess all applications for their county. These local trusts and foundations raise funds for and make grants to local charities and community groups, and also manage grant funds on behalf of a wide range of donors, including companies, charities and private individuals. To find out how to apply to the Gatwick Foundation Fund, please contact your local Community Foundation.

Gatwick

Gatwick Airport Station could double in size as £150m upgrade announced

Tens of millions of rail passengers travelling to and from Gatwick Airport will benefit from improved accessibility and swifter journeys, after the Department for Transport (DfT) announced a £150 million scheme to upgrade the station.

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The renovation will reduce train delays caused by platform overcrowding and congestion, while also improving passenger experience by providing easier connections to other destinations.

Planned upgrades will include doubling the size of the station concourse, adding five new lifts and eight escalators to improve passenger flow, and widening two platforms to reduce overcrowding.

Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said:

“With 46m people now using Gatwick Airport every year and 20m coming by train, it is vital that we make the station more accessible and customer friendly for those travelling through it. The UK’s second largest airport has direct rail links to more than 120 destinations and is an important public transport hub.

“We want to see Gatwick Airport’s success continue to flourish and ensure that it is ready for even more passengers in the future. Through this £150 million investment, we will deliver vital upgrades to boost the station’s capacity and provide better, seamless journeys for all.”

Stewart Wingate, Chief Executive Officer, Gatwick Airport said:

“Gatwick has been transformed in recent years and the redesigned train station will take the airport’s redevelopment to the next level by providing a seamless transition between the airport and the station, more lifts, escalators and a doubling in the size of the concourse.

“The new station will complement the huge improvements to rail services at the airport, which include new fleets of Gatwick Express and Thameslink trains and services that now leave the airport for London every three minutes – as frequently as services on the tube.

“The project is a fantastic example of the public and private sector working together to deliver a world-class transport hub that will comfortably manage the expected growth in air passengers and also encourage people to switch to rail as part of our push to get more people to travel to the airport by public transport.” 

The number of people using Gatwick Airport station each year has grown by six million since 2010. Currently the station is not designed for the high volume of daily passengers, often carrying bulky luggage.

The renovation will be managed by Network Rail, in partnership with DfT. Gatwick Airport Ltd and Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership are co-funding the project with £37m and £10m respectively.

Paul Harwood, Director of Investment for Network Rail, said:

“The transformational enhancement to Gatwick Airport station will provide passengers with a much smoother and more pleasant experience and also reduce train delays.

“Along with the recent improvements on the Brighton Main Line and our record £4.3 billion funding settlement for maintaining, operating and renewing the railway over the next five years, this investment is excellent news for passengers, businesses and the economy.”

Patrick Verwer, Chief Executive Officer of Govia Thameslink Railway, said:

“This much-needed scheme will deliver real benefits for passengers thanks to enhanced platforms, new lifts and a larger concourse. At such a busy station these upgraded facilities will significantly contribute to the smooth running of our services for travellers getting to and from the airport.”

Jonathan Sharrock, Chief Executive at Coast to Capital said:  

“If our economy is to grow, we need a transport network that supports faster, more reliable, and less polluting journeys for business, leisure and freight travel. Gatwick airport is an international destination and its station is a gateway to London and the wider Coast to Capital area.

“This plan will greatly improve the interchange for commuters, visitors and business which will support the sustainable growth of the area with Gatwick airport at its heart.

“We are delighted to have contributed £10 million and look forward to working with partners to deliver a better experience for passengers.”

The improvement works will start in Spring 2020 and will take around two years to complete. The works will be sequenced to ensure minimum disruption.

The government is investing a record £48bn to modernise the country’s rail network and deliver significant improvements in performance, punctuality and capacity.

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