Letter to the Secretary of State for Transport supporting Gatwick's northern runway
11 November 2021
In a joint letter to the Secretary of State for Transport, representatives of more than 20,000 businesses across Sussex, Surrey, Kent and London, have come together to pledge their support for Gatwick Airport’s Northern Runway Project:
The Rt Hon Grant Shapps MP
Secretary of State
Department for Transport
Great Minster House
33 Horseferry Road
11th November 2021
Dear Secretary of State
Gatwick is a vital piece of national infrastructure that for many years has provided investment and commercial opportunities for our members and the organisations we represent.
We write to you today as a coalition representing over 20,000 of these businesses, drawn from the membership of the 36 business groups listed below. Many have benefitted from Gatwick’s supply chains, from the millions of tourists who fly into the airport each year and from the diverse economic clusters that have flourished in the region around the airport.
The COVID-19 pandemic however has shown all of us that none of these benefits can be taken for granted.
It is reassuring therefore that we witness the airport showing the first signs of recovery from the pandemic and it was with real excitement that we received Gatwick’s innovative plans to bring the airport’s Northern Runway into regular use.
If successful, these low impact plans would support business and employment opportunities across the region for generations. They will also help ensure that the Southeast is attractive to new, innovative industries, which will help make our economy more diverse and resilient.
We also welcome the airport’s plans in relation to their impact on the environment and note the airport’s recent progress and future commitment to low carbon growth. This aligns with the wider UK aviation sector’s road map to achieve net zero aircraft emissions and supports the Government’s climate targets.
We welcome the airport’s proposed investment to upgrade local roads, including separating local and airport traffic using flyovers, and look forward to full mitigation of any potential impact on the local transport network. We would also hope to see further improvements to lateral road and rail links across the region.
Also particularly welcome in Gatwick's proposals is the Outline Employment, Skills and Business Strategy which will also ensure local people are supported through relevant education and training provision, as well as giving local businesses opportunities for inclusion in the airport’s supply chains. This will help increase local businesses investment and create opportunities for residents at a time when this support is needed most.
Just like the benefits Gatwick generated in the past however, we recognise that these opportunities, jobs and our future prosperity cannot be taken for granted.
We therefore today pledge our collective support for the airport’s Northern Runway plans and urge our members, and anyone else who supports the plans, to take a few minutes to make their voice heard and show their support for future growth and prosperity by responding to the ongoing consultation before it closes on 1 December 2021.
- Andy Willems, Company Secretary, Adur & Worthing Business Partnership
- Christina Ewbank, Chief Executive , Alliance of Chambers of East Sussex
- Uta Acuna, Chairman, Battle & District Chamber of Commerce
- Ian Hollidge, Chairman, Bexhill Chamber of Commerce
- Anne Ackord, Chair, Brighton & Hove Tourism Alliance
- Dean Orgill, Chair, Brighton & Hove Economic Partnership
- Gavin Stewart, Chief Executive , Brighton BID
- Robert Windsor, Executive Director, British International Freight Association
- Richard Cox, Chief Executive Officer, Burgess Hill Business Park Association
- Jose Evans, Director, Crawley & Gatwick Chamber of Commerce
- Jeremy Woolger, President & Chairman, Crowborough & District Chamber of Commerce
- Richard Plant, Chair, Develop Croydon
- Christina Ewbank, Chief Executive, Eastbourne Chamber of Commerce
- Jeff Alexander, Executive Director, Gatwick Diamond Business
- Brett North, Chairman, Gatwick Diamond Initiative
- Peter Zielke, Chairman, Gatwick Hotels Association
- Bharat Lukka, Chairman, Gurjar Hindu Union
- Clive Soper, Vice Chairman, Hailsham & District Chamber of Commerce
- Clive Gailbraith, Chairman, Hastings Area Chamber of Commerce
- Richard Williams, Chairman, Heathfield Chamber of Commerce
- Mike Humphrey, Chairman, Horley & District Chamber of Commerce
- Michele Augousti, Chair, IOD Sussex
- Geoff Miles, Chairman, Kent & Medway Economic Partnership
- Jo James, Chief Executive , Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce
- Clare Crouch, President, Lewes Chamber of Commerce
- Richard Burge, Chief Executive Officer, London Chamber of Commerce & Industry
- John Dickie, Chief Executive, London First
- Mike Shorer, President, Newhaven Chamber
- Corinne Day, Executive Director, Newhaven Enterprise Zone
- Mark Derrick, Chairman, Peacehaven Chamber of Commerce
- Jonathon Dellar, Co Chair, Rye Chamber of Commerce
- Clare Davis, President, Seaford Chamber of Commerce
- Carole Black, Director, SouthEast Construction Expo
- Louise Punter, Chief Executive , Surrey Chamber of Commerce
- Ana Christie, Chief Executive, Sussex Chamber of Commerce
- Chay Took, President, Worthing & Adur Chamber of Commerce & Industry