Airport bid hits setback

AIRPORT chiefs have revealed their disappointment out after their multi-million pound bid for funding was rejected - for a second time.

Durham Tees Valley airport wanted £4.6m from the Government’s Regional Growth Fund (RGF) to help create an overall investment of £46.5m.

If approved, it would have meant a new access road on the south side of the airport. It could also have led to 1,400 new jobs over the next ten years.

The Southside development would bring other benefits, including new facilities for the on-site SERCO International Fire Training Centre, possible expansion for the aircraft recycling facility, and provision of up to two million sq ft of high-quality business and logistics space - but RGF officials did not include the bid among their 102 successful projects.

Peter Nears, strategic planning director with the Peel Group which owns the airport, said: “This is an extremely disappointing announcement, especially given that we felt we had taken on board the issues raised in relation to our initial bid last year.”

He added: “We believe that we made a very strong case for a project which could be of enormous benefit to both the airport and the area as a whole.”

He said that, in the light of the announcement,”we will need to consider the options now available to us.”

The Mail told yesterday how Hartlepool company JDR Cables was one of only six Tees Valley winners. Overall, the Tees Valley award will create nearly 300 jobs and £146m of private investment.