Gatwick gears up to support summer of community events in the South East


  • Gatwick supports one of its biggest community engagement programmes
  • The airport is partnering with: The Brighton Marathon Weekend, Brighton Dome & Brighton Festival, Eastbourne International Hot Air Balloon Festival and Brighton Pride
  • Events set to reach more communities in the South East than ever before

Gatwick Airport is supporting one of its biggest local engagement programmes this summer by sponsoring the Brighton Marathon Weekend, Brighton Dome & Brighton Festival, Eastbourne’s International Hot Air Balloon Festival and Brighton Pride.

At this year’s Brighton Marathon Weekend, taking place on 8th and 9th April, Gatwick is sponsoring the entry fee to the Cancer Research Kids and Teens Mini Mile Races. This means, instead of an entry fee which will be covered by Gatwick, participants will be invited to make an optional donation to race sponsor and Gatwick’s national charity partner, Cancer Research UK.

In partnership with the Brighton Dome & Brighton Festival, which takes place throughout May, Gatwick is sponsoring the organisation’s Family, International and Accessibility programmes. These programmes offer a wide range of artistic performances, spanning music, theatre and dance which can be enjoyed by people of all ages and abilities.

The airport has also partnered with Eastbourne’s International Hot Air Balloon Festival in Hampden Park, which makes its debut this year on 29th and 30th July. It will feature up to 20 balloons in mass flights at dawn and dusk across the weekend. A fleet of up to 10 helicopters will also fly in to form a display on the Saturday until mid-afternoon.

Rounding off a busy summer, Gatwick will become the Brighton Pride’s first Community Parade Sponsor and will be leading the parade with a branded bus. The lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community event is taking place from 4th to 6th August and has become the UK’s biggest Pride festival, with more than 300,000 people participating last year.

Alison Addy, Gatwick’s Head of Community Engagement, said:

Gatwick is proud to be supporting our local neighbours across such a variety of community events and looks forward to an exciting summer ahead. 

These events play an important role in bringing communities together and we are committed to addressing the social and environmental issues that matter to local people.”

Tom Naylor, Managing Director of The Grounded Events Company, which organises the Brighton Marathon Weekend, said:

“This is a fantastic new partnership which means that any child can take part and we’re delighted that Gatwick Airport have made this possible.

“We are always blown away by the enthusiasm and commitment of the children who take part and look forward to encouraging more and more children into running. We hope that this is a big step towards increasing participation in sport.”

Andrew Comben, Chief Executive, Brighton Dome & Brighton Festival said:

We’re delighted that London Gatwick is sponsoring Brighton Dome & Brighton Festival again this year. It is thanks to our sponsors that we’re able to present the sheer number of quality performances, installations and exclusive talks that make up Brighton Festival.

“Gatwick’s support of the Festival’s International and Family programmes – as well as year round accessibility at Brighton Dome & Brighton Festival – is crucial in ensuring we can continue to make Brighton Festival and the city itself such a magical place to be in May and year round.”

Sandy Boyce-Sharpe, CEO Eastbourne International Hot Air Balloon Festival, said: 

“Thanks to the generosity of Gatwick Airport, this pipe dream of a few balloons visiting Hampden Park in Eastbourne has been allowed to fly up, up and away and become not just a Hot Air Balloon Festival but a mini County Show. 

The event hasn’t taken place before, but 7,000 people have already asked to come with thousands more expected. Eastbourne Borough Council is showing it as the No.1 event in their 2017 summer calendar.”

Paul Kemp, Brighton Pride Community Interest Company, said:

“We are delighted that Gatwick Airport has once again partnered with Brighton & Hove Pride. Pride has evolved over the years with more communities coming together to celebrate the diversity of our city.

Many of our international visitors will fly into the event through Gatwick and, with grant funding no longer in existence, their support for the Community Parade is essential in enabling even more community groups to participate in Sussex and Brighton’s biggest single event.”

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