Airport unveils £256m list of community pledges

Photographs courtesy of Stephen Johnson Photography/ SUS-140606-145023001
Photographs courtesy of Stephen Johnson Photography/ SUS-140606-145023001

Gatwick Airport has unveiled a string of pledges worth £256million as it waits to hear whether it will be chosen for expansion.

As opposition to the idea of a second runway, becomes more vocal, airport chiefs said they were determined to prove they were “good neighbours” and not lose site of community concerns.

Among the pledges made was a £3.75million fund to help create 2,500 apprenticeships, £5million for noise insulation measures and £46.5million to help local authorities deliver essential community infrastructure.

In addition, residents whose home would need to be compulsorily purchased will be offered 25 per cent above the market value. A £131million Property Support Bond will be set up for this purpose.

The funding was announced on Thursday (July 24) as part of the airport’s document, Connecting Britain to the Future Faster, which summarised its case for a second runway. It follows a series of exhibitions held in April and May as part of a public consultation.

Gatwick CEO Stewart Wingate said: “A second runway would create a £90billion boost to the UK. We are determined to be a good neighbour and not lose sight of the concerns of those communities close to home.

“We’ve listened to local people and have created a wide range of pledges to deliver improvements in many of the areas that matter to them most, from new jobs and housing, to business support and noise mitigation.

“These pledges will help Gatwick deliver on its promises to the local community and we challenge Heathrow to match our comprehensive local commitments in their own expansion plans.”