East Midlands Airport bowled over to reach £2m milestone for local community support
A fund to support communities around East Midlands Airport (EMA) has reached its £2m milestone, with a contribution to a local bowls club for LED floodlights.
EMA’s Community Fund has now helped more than 1,700 community groups, schools and charities since being set up in 2002, including two special ring-fenced funds for low carbon projects as well as school eco gardens.
Along with contributions from the airport’s budgets, fines levied on airlines which breach airport noise rules add to the Community Fund. These swelled during the Covid pandemic when EMA’s status as a key national hub for cargo operations came into full effect, to meet the increased demand for online shopping, with passenger flights grounded at the time.
Restrictions are placed on aircraft movements, types, timings and routes by EMA as part of its Noise Action Plan. The £2m milestone has been reached as the consultation closes on a new five-year Noise Action Plan which, if adopted by Government, will ban the operation of the noisiest QC4 aircraft at night, among other measures.
At a recent EMA Community Fund committee meeting, a grant award of £7,000 was made to Kings Newton Bowls Club towards new LED floodlights, taking the total grants awarded by the fund to £2m. The club had their inaugural switch-on at a special event on Tuesday 5 September, attended by EMA’s Managing Director, Steve Griffiths.
He said: “We take our responsibilities to our neighbouring communities very seriously and I’m delighted that through measures to curb noisy flights along with our own contributions, we have reached £2m of support for local projects.
“Many of the projects the EMA Community Fund has supported are through our special Low Carbon Energy Fund – this ring-fenced pot of money has already supported 31 groups with over £300,000 of funding since it was launched, such as the LED floodlights I was pleased to see switched on for the first time at Kings Newton Bowls Club. Our draft Noise Action Plan will further reduce our impact on local communities and we’ll continue to do all we can to be a good neighbour to them.”
Peter Barton, Chairman of Kings Newton Bowls Club, says: “The new LED floodlights that we have installed at Kings Newton Bowls club thanks to the grant from the EMA Community Fund has made a huge difference to the club.
“Not only will the new LED floodlights create brighter playing conditions and extend our playing season in the spring and autumn, but we expect them to reduce our energy costs by around half. This investment paves the way for future improvements at the club including a much-anticipated extension to the club house in the near future.”