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Gatwick’s recovery vital for jobs and local economy – new reports


London Gatwick’s revival could generate over 50,000 new jobs and £8.4 billion Gross Value Added (GVA) by 2028 – enough to fund 222,000 primary school places or 70,000 nurses across the region, according to a new economic assessment report.

The report, published yesterday, even goes as far to argue that Gatwick’s strong revival is critical to the region’s economic recovery and will help create the dynamic, connected and innovative business environment necessary to diversify the region’s economy.

The new report by economics consultants, Lichfields, says 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 attract new economic clusters and – given the scale of the challenges facing the area following the pandemic – the airport also committed today 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

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

“As an airport, we plan to maximise the benefits 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.

“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 the airport was an important factor in their decision to locate in this region.

“We want to build on that by making sure 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 by economists, 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 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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