There is a total of £250,000 of funding available across the area of benefit, which includes parts of West Sussex, East Sussex, Surrey and Kent - the application process is now open with a deadline of 31 March 2024 to apply.
Last year around £200,000 went to more than 100 groups and charities across the region which was used to carry out essential work during the cost-of-living crisis.
Melanie Wrightson, stakeholder engagement manager at London Gatwick said: “The cost-of-living crisis continues in the UK and we know that our funding of the Gatwick Airport Community Trust last year made a real difference to grassroots organisations, charities and voluntary projects around the Sussex region.
“We encourage groups to apply for funding this year at a time when they are under financial pressure.
“The trust has been helping groups in the Sussex region since 2002 and the trustees are looking forward to making a difference in 2024 when they consider this year’s applications.”
The trustees adopt strict criteria when choosing where to channel funds, focusing on areas near London Gatwick. Beneficiaries must live within the trust’s area of benefit - the map is available to view here: https://gact.org.uk/area-of-benefit/
The Gatwick Airport Community Trust encourages and supports schemes that benefit diverse sections of the local community, and are targeted towards the development of young people, the arts, sporting facilities, environmental improvement and conservation, enhancements to community facilities, volunteering, the elderly and the disabled.
Amongst last year’s recipients was Sussex Chorus, a choral society founded more than 100 years ago, which received £1,750 from the trust at a critical time, allowing it to continue its programme of concerts with full orchestras and soloists.
Andrew Fox, chairman of Sussex Chorus, said: “I was extremely grateful to the Gatwick Airport Community Trust for a generous donation to the choir in summer 2023. This enabled us to perform Mozart's Great Mass in June 2023.
“This work, one of the greatest choral works in the classical repertoire, required an enormous amount of work from the choir and the professional musicians who performed with us.
“The grant was vital in ensuring we had the budget to stage the work and meant that we could provide access to a live performance of this work to our audience in Sussex.”
Funding also went to Rockinghorse Children's Charity, which used the £2,000 to buy toys for the Child Development Centre in Haywards Heath to help children feel more at home.
Sharon Gearing, head of trust fundraising at Rockinghorse, said: “The toys are helping to replace anxiety with joy for children attending the clinics, and helping staff to understand more about each child's specific developmental needs, thereby helping to improve health and life outcomes for children and their families. We can't thank the Gatwick Airport Community Trust enough."
The Gatwick Airport Community Trust was originally set up in 2002 as part of the legal arrangements between West Sussex County Council, Crawley Borough Council and London Gatwick following publication of the airport’s Sustainable Development Strategy.
It aims to make a positive contribution to the quality of life of the communities affected by the airport and its continuing growth.
This year applications will only be accepted online and all information on how to apply is on the website.
For more information about the Gatwick Airport Community Trust, visit: https://www.gact.org.uk/