Over 150 local leaders from across the region discussed the future of the South East’s economy at the second London Gatwick Economic Summit on November 16th at the Gatwick Hilton


Business and trade minister, Kevin Hollinrake MP; the airport’s CEO, Stewart Wingate; and new London Gatwick Chair, Baroness Margaret Ford of Cunninghame OBE, all led debates at the event.

Minister Hollinrake highlighted that London Gatwick’s economy is a key gateway to the UK for both tourists and overseas investors, and that partnership working across all sectors and industries offered the opportunity to grow the economy further.

Baroness Ford led a discussion on the economic advantages delivered through improved infrastructure, including showcasing the opportunities London’s new Elizabeth Line provided for local people and the local economy.

Stewart Wingate highlighted the airport’s own plan to improve its infrastructure by bringing its Northern Runway into routine use, alongside the Main Runway. The plan would deliver 14,000 new jobs and inject a further £1 billion into the region’s economy every year.

Stewart also announced that London Gatwick will support an Invest Gatwick Diamond stand at UKREiiF 2024 in Leeds. This platform will showcase the region’s investment potential among over 10,000 global industry professionals attending, including
investors, developers, occupiers and agents, all working in the global real estate and infrastructure community.

London Gatwick instigated the inaugural economic summit last year to bring together key stakeholders to discuss driving long-term, sustainable economic growth and future inward investment, following the impact the pandemic had had on the region. As an economic anchor for the region, London Gatwick is committed to being a partner and advocate for a thriving, resilient economy – a core goal in the airport’s Second Decade of Change sustainability policy.

Delegates attending this year’s event at the airport’s Hilton Hotel included those representing local authorities, businesses, developers, education providers, and business forums from across the South East.

Stewart Wingate said: “Our Economic Summit is designed to find new ways to unlock the region’s long-term economic potential. It was great to see so many of the South East’s top economic and business leaders in one room. Our region has many economic benefits to offer investors, and I’m delighted that London Gatwick is helping showcase these at one of the country’s premier investment events.”

Brett North, Chairman of Gatwick Diamond Initiative, said: “What a great conference! I had the privilege of participating in the international connections panel discussion. Home to 45,000 businesses and 500 global businesses with a GVA of £24 billion, the Gatwick Diamond economy outperforms most of the UK’s top cities.

“Local business leaders recognise the critical role that London Gatwick plays as a vital piece of national infrastructure, and it was great to see such a range of partners coming together at the airport’s second Economic Summit. There was great energy in the room and many opportunities were discussed that will help drive regional economic growth across the Southeast, including by creating new, vital international connections.”

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