Doncaster Sheffield Airport rescue bid funding agreed by South Yorkshire's mayor

South Yorkshire's mayor has agreed to help fund a council bid to take over and reopen Doncaster Sheffield Airport.

Oliver Coppard handed Doncaster Council £3.1m after it asked for funding to support legal action to force owners Peel Group to sell the site.

The company closed the airport in November, claiming it was financially unviable.

Mr Coppard said the region's political leaders "haven't given up on our fight" to save it.

The South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority (SYMCA) have also agreed to provide funding to help buy the airport if a court grants the council a compulsory purchase order (CPO) for the site.

Mr Coppard said a CPO was "our last, best hope to take back control" of the airport, which brought in an estimated £108.4m to the region when it was operating.

Doncaster Council said the funding would help it build a case for the legal action, which it believes will cost up to £6.25m.

Mr Coppard said the region's leaders would "not going to stop until we've exhausted every option".

"There are no easy or quick answers in this process. The CPO could take up to two years, and there are loads of hurdles in the way," he said.

"But across South Yorkshire we are determined to do everything we can to bring DSA back into use, and to make it the thriving regional airport we know it can be."

Ros Jones, Doncaster's mayor, said the airport was "vitally important to our city and the economic and growth fortunes of South Yorkshire".

Meanwhile, a protection order banning Peel Group from demolishing any of the airport's buildings without planning consent came into force on Monday.

Doncaster Council said it had issued the order, known as an Article 4 direction, after the company indicated "certain buildings" on the site "may require demolition on health and safety grounds".

The local authority said the removal of any buildings associated with the airport "could significantly affect the viability of re-opening".

It added it was "clear that the operator has a desire to redevelop the site for other uses".

Peel Group was approached for comment.

The company previously said it had "pursued all viable commercial aviation opportunities at DSA" before the closure.

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