London Luton Airport, the UK’s fifth largest airport, flying 18 million passengers to 122 destinations, is giving back on a scale well beyond any other UK airport – 20x the amount per passenger. The airport is owned by Luton Rising, a company of Luton Council, and, as a direct result of its public ownership since 1998, has provided more than £257m (approx. USD 271m) to support vital local front-line services, together with an additional £155m (approx. USD 163.45m) for community investment projects that has transformed the lives of tens of thousands of vulnerable people.
Graham Olver, CEO of Luton Rising explains, “Our unique ownership model means that our values are more than financial and include a fundamental focus on giving back to the local communities on a scale well beyond any other UK airport – over £400m (approx. USD 421.28m) in the last 24 years.”
Alberto Martin, CEO of London Luton Airport, says, “We’re not only proud to deliver a simple and friendly experience for our customers, we’re also proud of our partnership with Luton Rising and the significant benefits this brings to our communities. A large proportion of passengers and 98% of airport staff come from Beds, Herts and Bucks and it’s absolutely right that we give back wherever we can.”
Headway Luton is one of the charities supported by Luton Rising and it recently helped Paul, hit by encephalitis, get back on his feet. Confused and unable to navigate everyday life, Paul turned to the charity which supports people who have acquired brain injuries. He says, “They get your brain to think. Rather than giving up and saying, “I’m not doing that, I can’t be bothered”, I can now actually read a newspaper and do the crossword.”
This unique community investment programme has an annual budget of approximately £7.4m, (approx. USD 7.79m) with half funding Active Luton (leisure, community health, wellbeing and library services) and The Culture Trust Luton (arts, cultural and heritage services), and the balance given to 50 local charities including Alzheimer’s Society, Age Concern, Autism Bedfordshire, Luton Citizen’s Advice Bureau, Luton Foodbank, Luton Women’s Aid, Relate, Stepping Stones, and Victim Support.
In addition, the airport operator has its own community engagement programme, which includes a charity partnership, Community Trust Fund and working with the Prince’s Trust to help young people Get into Aviation.