Hartlepool council chief set to back a £588m investment plan and Durham Tees Valley Airport takeover

Hartlepool's council leader says he plans to back a £588 investment plan which would see Durham Tees Valley Airport become publicly owned.

By The Newsroom
Wednesday, 16 January, 2019, 17:31
Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen hopes to takeover Durham Tees Valley Airport.

Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen is hoping to win backing next week for his Combined Authority Investment Plan which includes the takeover of Durham Tees Valley Airport.

The plan will outline spending of £588m over the next ten years within the Tees Valley, including programmes in Hartlepool.

It includes backing plans in Hartlepool including the Hartlepool Waterfront scheme, with up to £20m support.

Transport schemes include New Tees Crossings (West and East), the Hartlepool Western Growth Corridor and A689 Wynyard Improvements.

Local rail network improvement projects for consideration in the plan include Hartlepool Station Platform Capacity and Billingham Station Accessibility schemes.

Councillor Christopher Akers-Belcher, the leader of Hartlepool Borough Council, said: “I fully support the proposed Tees Valley Combined Authority Investment Plan which outlines spending over the next ten years.

Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen.

“As well as a proposal to purchase and develop Durham Tees Valley Airport, the plan sets out a programme of significant additional investment across the Tees Valley that will help establish the area as a region of global significance.

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“I will be supporting the plan at the Cabinet meeting next week as I believe each of the five Local Authority areas across the Tees Valley will benefit and I would encourage my fellow Cabinet members to do the same.”

The Tees Valley Combined Authority is looking to spend £40million to bring the airport back into public ownership.

The airport, between Darlington and Yarm, is currently owned and operated by Peel Airports, which also runs Liverpool John Lennon and Doncaster Sheffield airports.

The deal includes buying Peel’s 89% shareholding in Durham Tees Valley Airport (DTVA).

The other 11% is owned by six local authorities, with Hartlepool Borough Council owning a 1.08% stake in the airport.

A further £5m was agreed to buy land next to the airport currently earmarked for 350 new homes.

The Tees Valley Combined Authority Investment Plan, which will be discussed by the authority's cabinet on Thursday, January 24, states: "The Business Plan requires up to £74.6m to fund acquisition, operations and capex (capital expenditure) before the airport becomes profitable and begins to repay this investment.

"However, this level of investment will be under a level of confidence that delivery against the Business Plan growth targets are being achieved and the loans will be fully recovery. Based on Business Plan forecasts it is expected that recovery will take 40 years."