Gatwick and Croydon Council launch partnership to help ensure residents see benefits of airport expansion

25 November 2014

Gatwick Airport and Croydon Council will today sign an agreement to work together to help local residents fully realise the economic growth and regeneration opportunities that an expanded Gatwick would bring.

The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) will be signed today by Croydon Council’s Leader Cllr Tony Newman and Gatwick’s CEO, Stewart Wingate, at the Develop Croydon conference, Fairfield Halls, Croydon.

The partnership focusses on four key areas:

  • Education, training and recruitment: Expansion at Gatwick will create 22,000 new airport related jobs– and 14,000 catalytic jobs in the south London corridor beyond the airport, with Croydon at the centre. The MOU states that Gatwick will work with Croydon Council, local schools, colleges and employment programmes to make sure these jobs are available to all of Croydon’s communities. If it built a second runway, Gatwick would also introduce a £3.75 million apprenticeship fund, including grants of £1500 to cover the start-up costs of each new apprenticeship. Gatwick will work with Croydon Council to help local residents access the scheme.
  • Procurement and supply chains: The buying power of Gatwick now and in the future is significant and the MOU says that both partners will identify multiple routes for Croydon-based businesses to become part of the Gatwick supply chain. In 2013/14 – 43% of Gatwick’s annual spend on goods and services was with local suppliers - equating to £64m.
  • Housing: Gatwick has pledged £46.5 million in a scheme to provide local authorities with £5,000 per new house built to help fund local infrastructure improvements. The airport will work with Croydon Council to support the delivery of these new homes.
  • Transport: As Croydon grows, demand on the transport network will also increase and both parties will jointly promote the need for significant investment in the growth corridor linking Brighton to London, through Croydon and Gatwick.

Gatwick has also written to all Croydon Councillors, explaining how an expanded Gatwick would help deliver Croydon’s ambitions to become a modern European city. The letter says that a new runway at Gatwick wouldencourage long term confidence and investment and would be the catalyst Croydon needs to become the new regeneration centre of the capital.

In September, a YouGov poll of 7 local communities around Gatwick showed that residents of Croydon are the most supportive of Gatwick expansion (58%) when given a straight choice of building a new runway at Gatwick or Heathrow. The average level of support across all areas was 52% in favour of expanding Gatwick, with 36%choosing Heathrow. Only 27% of Croydon residents supported expanding Heathrow.

Stewart Wingate, Gatwick CEO, said: “Croydon is well-placed to take advantage of Gatwick expansion - benefitting from jobs, skills, apprenticeships and resources for infrastructure. The agreement we’ve signed today will help ensure that Croydon’s residents can realise these benefits to the full.”

Councillor Tony Newman, leader of Croydon Council, said: "London's new growth corridor starts in Croydon and runs through Gatwick to Brighton.

“Croydon is on the brink of Olympic-scale transformation, and just 15 minutes away by train, Gatwick can make a really important contribution to the regeneration and investment already underway in our borough.

"A second runway would bring huge benefits to our residents and businesses, as well as the wider region. It would create thousands of new jobs, boost businesses including Croydon's growing tech city, and see further investment in the transport network."

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