Gatwick Airport’s revival critical to recovery of the region’s economy according to new reports

Two new reports have outlined that a revived Gatwick Airport would support the region’s economic recovery and diversification.

Gatwick releases financial results for first six months of 2020

London Gatwick Airport’s (LGW) strong revival is critical to the region’s economic recovery and will help to create the dynamic, connected and innovative business environment that is necessary to diversify the region’s economy, according to a new report – Gatwick’s Economic Value – that was published on 18 May 2021.

Diversifying the region’s economy and making it more resilient has become an important objective for several local economic partners following the COVID-19 pandemic

The new report by Lichfields outlines that a revived Gatwick would support the region’s economic diversification by making the area attractive to new and emerging industrial clusters, including digital, advanced manufacturing and green technologies.

In response, Gatwick has committed to continue to work with its local partners and help the region to attract new economic clusters and – given the scale of the challenges facing the area following the pandemic – the airport has also committed to develop a range of employment, skills, sustainable growth and supply chain initiatives that aim to:

  • Grow its workforce and, by reviving the airport, support more jobs across the region than ever before
  • Provide labour market entry points for young people, including through apprenticeships and graduate programmes, and facilitate training in response to technological innovation in aviation and associated sectors
  • Promote a clean, green recovery by building on commitments to reach net zero for the airport’s own operations and through involvement in UK industry plans to reach net zero aircraft emissions by 2050
  • Ensure the airport’s procurement and supply chain spending targets businesses based in the region.

Stewart Wingate, Chief Executive of Gatwick Airport, said: “By working together, we can harness the extraordinary benefits that the airport delivers to help the region to rebuild, diversify and become more resilient following the devastating impact that the pandemic has had on jobs, businesses and communities across the local area.”

“As an airport, we plan to maximise the benefits that we provide for local people, communities and businesses through a range of initiatives that focus on skills, employment, sustainability and our extensive supply chains, which support many thousands of jobs across the South East,” he added.

Wingate concluded: “We will also continue to work closely with our partners on their ambitious plans to diversify the region’s economy. Many established businesses tell us that the airport was an important factor in their decision to locate in this region. We want to build on that by making sure that the area is once again an attractive, innovative and well-connected place to invest and locate a business.”

A further new report – The Economic Impact of Gatwick Airport – published on 18 May 2021 by Oxera also shows how the return of air traffic to levels forecast before the pandemic would support over 50,000 new on-airport, supply chain and other business-related jobs across West and East Sussex, Surrey and Kent by 2028. These new jobs would be in addition to the 69,000 jobs that the airport was shown to provide on-airport, in its supply chain and other business-related jobs during the pandemic in 2020.

The research also demonstrates that the airport could generate up to £8.4 billion for the region’s economy by 2028 – compared to £4.1 billion GVA in 2020. Put another way, the airport would support economic activity that could generate enough tax receipts to provide over 220,000 primary school places or over 70,000 nurses across West and East Sussex, Surrey and Kent by 2028 – more than twice as many as in 2020. 

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