Fylde MP and MEP meet Save Blackpool Airport over site’s future

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FYLDE MP Mark Menzies and local Member of the European Parliament, Sajjad Karim, met with the Save Blackpool Airport group and offered their support to ensure a vibrant airfield is at the centre of any development plans at the site.

The meeting came after the Government recently gave the airport site enterprise zone status and announced a new £10m energy college would be built on the land off Squires Gate Lane, South Shore.

While the new Enterprise Zone received Mr Menzies backing, he wanted to make it clear to the group that the return of commercial aviation to the site was his priority once it was back on a sound financial footing.

He added: “I was as devastated as anyone when it was announced that the airport was to close and overseas flights to and from Blackpool came to an end.

“While I was pleased to see routes to Belfast and the Isle of Man begin operating again earlier this year, they were never going to provide the financial stability required to fund expensive international airport requirements.

“That is why I backed the plans to give the site enterprise zone status, to encourage highly-profitable businesses to move onto Blackpool Airport and hopefully put it on a sound financial footing.

“By tying it to the energy sector and the new college, regular flights to Aberdeen and other key-energy producing locations around Europe may not be far away.

“Once the support structures are in place for those routes, I would hope to see the return of a link to London and, eventually, the popular ‘sunshine flights’ which we were all sorry to see go.

“The fact is, for whatever reason, the airport was losing millions of pounds every year and was unable to continue running under those circumstances. It was vitally important that the financial security of the airport was protected if flights are to return.

“I was pleased to meet with Sajjad Karim and members of the Save Blackpool Airport Group to outline our commitment to doing all we can to get the airport back on track as soon as possible.”

As a new enterprise zone, Blackpool will benefit from a range of incentives including:

-          business rate discount worth up to £275,000 per business over a five-year period

-          generous enhanced capital allowances (tax relief) worth millions to businesses making large investments in plant and machinery

-          100 per cent retention of business rate growth for the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership, to enable it to fund development on the enterprise zone.

 

PICTURE: Mark Menzies MP and Sajjad Karim MEP meet members of the Save Blackpool Airport Group

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