Partnership supports Gatwick growth but urges ‘vital’ economic contribution
The Coastal West Sussex Partnership is the latest local organisation to announce its backing for Gatwick Airport’s masterplan. Despite this support, the partnership has called for a greater contribution from Gatwick Airport to the local economy.
The partnership, which brings together senior figures from the public and private sector to collaborate on economic issues, has long supported the airport’s ambitions.
In 2015, it gave its support to Gatwick Airport’s proposals to develop a second runway at the airport, citing the economic and employment benefits that expansion would bring to the area.
However, board members agreed that the airport – the second largest in the UK – could take further action to support the coastal economy.
Infrastructure, skills, business development and the visitor economy topped the list of board member’s concerns. Four years on, the partnership’s position remains clear.
Coastal West Sussex Partnership Chairman Henry Powell, said: “We support the plan, but it is vital that Gatwick significantly contributes to road and rail infrastructure and invests in recruiting and training the next generation of staff from coastal areas in West Sussex.”
“Investment and improvements in infrastructure are needed to support expansion and increased traffic flow to the airport. We would like to see Gatwick Airport championing action on roads such as the A24 and A27. We would also like to see the much-needed work on the airport’s railway station completed.
“Residents of the coastal West Sussex region could stand to benefit from employment opportunities at Gatwick Airport – but an innovative approach to reducing travel-to-work costs and time should be taken into account.”
“Strengthening supply chains with local businesses is relevant with or without expansion. “We also urge Gatwick Airport to use local labour, to forge stronger links with local colleges and to look outside the Gatwick Diamond area to the coastal towns on its doorstep.”
Gatwick Airport’s masterplan has received a flurry of support from businesses and organisations in Sussex in the run-up to the close of its public consultation at 5pm on Thursday 10 January. The plan outlines the airport’s growth across three scenarios involving the uses of its runways.