City of Doncaster Council’s Cabinet is being asked to ring-fence over £3million towards costs associated with ongoing fight to save Doncaster Sheffield Airport.
City of Doncaster Council’s Cabinet is being asked to ring-fence over £3million towards the legal and programme costs associated with its ongoing fight to save Doncaster Sheffield Airport.
On Wednesday April 12, City of Doncaster Council’s Cabinet will discuss a report that sets out the current position in relation to Doncaster Sheffield Airport (DSA) and the extensive activity being undertaken to secure the future of the airport. It also outlines the initial programme costs of up to £3.1m if a Compulsory Purchase Order is required.
Doncaster Sheffield Airport closed at the end of 2022 following a short strategic review by its owners, despite the offer of financial support from South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority (SYMCA) and City of Doncaster Council.
The project to re-open DSA has been called South Yorkshire Airport City. It aims to re-open the airport and grow a cluster of businesses and commercial activity that complements traditional aerospace functions, including logistics. The wider airport city development could incorporate employment, Research & Development, retail, leisure and residential opportunities, with excellent transport links, supporting new inward investment into Doncaster and South Yorkshire.
Given the significant number of jobs and the major economic potential of Doncaster Sheffield Airport, the report highlights the council’s intention that the airport should be acquired from Peel with a view to its reopening.
Whilst the Council understands that there have been credible financial offers to purchase DSA, to date none of these has been accepted by current owners, Peel. Peel has recently offered a lease of the airport to City of Doncaster Council. Discussions are taking place to progress this option and to explore whether a lease at a longer term and on a different commercial basis than that initially offered by Peel could provide a basis upon which to achieve the Council’s objectives.
The Council will continue discussions with Peel over the potential sale but is continuing preparations in the event that a CPO becomes necessary.
It is hoped that the legal and programme costs will ultimately be covered by regional funding recovered from a loan previously extended to Peel, with a decision by SYMCA on this funding anticipated in June 2023.
Mayor of Doncaster Ros Jones said: “Sadly, our award-winning airport has now closed, but the fight is not over! Our aim is to reach agreement on the acquisition of the airport with Peel, but if necessary we will seek to compulsorily purchase the site and we are preparing for that eventuality now, should it be required.
“The acquisition process will take time and it will not be cheap. However, this airport has the potential to be the jewel in the crown of the Doncaster and South Yorkshire economy. It is an investment in the future of this great city and the region. That is why this report to Cabinet sets out the latest position and asks for the support to progress our endeavours for the site’s future. I hope a sale can be achieved but, if not, we have to plan for other ways to secure the airport for the aviation industry, our communities and our economy.”
The Cabinet report can be read by clicking the button below:
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