Chancellor praises Fylde MP over Enterprise Zone campaign

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CHANCELLOR of the Exchequer, the Rt Hon George Osborne, thanked Fylde MP Mark Menzies for his assistance as he confirmed Enterprise Zone status for the Blackpool Airport site.

Mr Osborne took the opportunity to announce the new arm of the Lancashire Enterprise Zone during his much-anticipated budget address and the move was welcomed by Mr Menzies, within whose constituency the airfield sits.

Announcing new zones at Plymouth and Blackpool, Mr Osborne told the House of Commons: “I would like to congratulate my honourable friends in these areas for their campaigning.”

And following the budget debate Mr Menzies said the announcement was the culmination of many months of hard work.

He added: “Giving Blackpool Airport Enterprise Zone status will help secure the site’s economic future and hopefully lead to commercial travel returning at some stage.

“When it first became apparent that the airport was about to close last year, I met with the Chancellor to ask what the Government could do to support the site and ensure it remained a viable business, which was when we first discussed the Enterprise Zone idea.

“Since then we have discussed this on a number of occasions and the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership was encouraged to look at this as part of its plans. The surrounding local authorities were also contacted to see if they were supportive of the idea.

“It has been estimated that this could establish new businesses with the creation of around 3,000 new jobs, which will encourage growth and connectivity for the wider area and secure the airport’s financial future.

“It was good of the Chancellor to recognise the hard work which has gone into this in his speech but I am determined to see the site reopen as a commercial airport and will do anything I can to support that.”

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