Gatwick establishes “Growth Board” under Tessa Jowell and Steve Norris to develop benefits from its growth
Gatwick has announced the formation of the new “Gatwick Growth Board” (the GGB) under Co-Chairs Tessa Jowell and Steve Norris. The GGB will “examine the wider economic and social impacts of Gatwick Airport’s future growth and expansion plans on the local area, the South East region, and on the economy of the UK as a whole.” Gatwick hopes the GGB will ensure “the benefits of Gatwick expansion are properly distributed across the region and the rest of the UK, such that areas most in need of regeneration benefit appropriately from its plans.” Quite how it will do this is not revealed, nor why it is only at this late stage that Gatwick has felt it necessary to try to demonstrate benefit of a 2nd runway for the UK as a whole. The board will have no official powers or authority. Gatwick realises it carries very little air freight, and deals largely with leisure low cost, point to point travel. Most of its flights are to one or other European holiday destination. They hope their new runway would be open by 2025. The GGB is to work for two years, and it will produce “regular reports and studies” for Gatwick, with the first starting this September. These will look at how Gatwick fits with Britain’s withdrawal from the EU, employment impacts on the regions from sucking more low cost travel to the south east, and how it can have an impact on the regions. Gatwick must be worried by the public realisation that it contributes little to the UK economy as a whole.
Gatwick Airport establishes Growth Board: Baroness Jowell and Steve Norris to develop benefits of growth and expansion
15.8.2016 (Gatwick airport press release)
- Former London and Transport Ministers join Gatwick Growth Board
- New board will study economic benefits and effect of growth and expansion in the context of Brexit
- Work to take place over 24 months, first study to start in September
Gatwick Airport announced today the formation of the new Gatwick Growth Board (the GGB) under Co-Chairs Tessa Jowell and Steve Norris. The GGB will examine the wider economic and social impacts of Gatwick Airport’s future growth and expansion plans on the local area, the South East region, and on the economy of the UK as a whole.
Reporting to Chairman, Sir Roy McNulty, it will have a particular emphasis on ensuring that the benefits of Gatwick expansion are properly distributed across the region and the rest of the UK, such that areas most in need of regeneration benefit appropriately from its plans.
The GGB’s purpose is to help Gatwick Airport Limited and its management team address the wider issues associated with Gatwick’s recent and future growth. The airport is now recognised as one of the most important infrastructure assets in the country and its growth carries implications for the country as a whole, as well as for its local region.
The GGB will examine the implications of Gatwick’s national status in the context of both one runway and two. A natural focus of the Board’s inquiry will be the impacts associated with a second runway but it will also examine the impacts of Gatwick’s place in the economy and its expansion in the context of a single runway, recognising that a new runway will not be open until 2025.
As former Minister for the Olympics and for London, and former Minister for Transport respectively, Baroness Jowell and Steve Norris bring great experience, expertise, and authority in the field of government, infrastructure, and economic and social analysis.
This will allow the GGB to develop independent analysis of the impacts of Gatwick’s future growth and expansion plans to provide insight and advice to the airport on how these plans might best be taken forward.
The GGB’s work will extend across an initial two year period and will deliver regular reports and studies to Gatwick. Amongst other things it will address:
- the economic impact of Gatwick expansion for the UK, in the context of Britain’s withdrawal from the EU
- the distribution of that economic impact across the country – incorporating an analysis of the social benefits of a competitive network of airports in the UK. This might also include an analysis of the employment/ stimulus effects of introducing a more competitive dynamic to the freight market
- the economic and social effects of Gatwick expansion in the neighbouring region (both positive and negative), how the positive effects might be maximised, and how the negative impacts, including environmental impacts, might be further contained
- how growth at Gatwick might be configured so as to provide a best fit with the economic and social needs and requirements of the nation and of communities around London and down to the South Coast, and
- how growth at Gatwick can contribute to the regeneration of less developed parts of the UK and its local area, and enhance the social and community benefits associated with expansion, in the context of a second runway or in the context of expansion with only a single runway.
The first of these reports is planned to commence in September.
Baroness Jowell said:
“London and the South East are crucial economic engines that drive growth in the rest of Britain. This is a great opportunity to build on the experience of the Olympics – commissioning the park and staging the games – to bring economic and social benefit across the UK. It is important that the continued growth of success stories like Gatwick is seen through a national lens.
“The Gatwick Growth Board will look closely at how investment and growth here can better benefit not only the region but also the country as a whole and I am delighted to have the opportunity to help deliver a plan to make this happen.”
Steve Norris said:
“Gatwick is a very significant part of the UK’s national infrastructure and plays a crucial role in the economic prosperity of the local area, the South East, and the country as a whole.
“The investment and growth that Gatwick has brought to the UK since coming into independent ownership has been remarkable. Particularly in light of the Brexit, Britain needs the certainty that Gatwick’s future growth and expansion plans bring and I look forward to helping take this forward to help maximise the real benefits that Gatwick offers for the region, and for the nation.”
Gatwick Airport CEO Stewart Wingate said:
“I am delighted that Baroness Jowell and Steve Norris have come together to establish our Growth Board – they bring with them immeasurable knowledge, experience and expertise and will help us to ensure that the benefits and impacts of our growth and expansion plans, and how they can deliver for Britain, are properly assessed and effectively implemented.
“Gatwick has invested billions to realise our transformation to this point. We have great plans for further growth in the future and it is now clear that only Gatwick can deliver the runway that the UK needs.”.