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Six-figure loan agreed for Gloucestershire Airport

Council landlords of Gloucestershire Airport have agreed to lend it a hefty six figure sum at behind-closed-doors meetings this week. The airport already owes them £1.5million which it spent on upgrading runway safety.

Council landlords of Gloucestershire Airport have agreed to lend it a hefty six figure sum at behind-closed-doors meetings this week. The airport already owes them £1.5million which it spent on upgrading runway safety.

Gloucester City Council and Cheltenham Borough Council will lend the Staverton airport a reported sum of to up to £750,000 after meetings last night and on Monday. The airport, which has had to deal with the sudden closure CityWing, said it remains very much business as usual and the money is to allow it to develop further.

The airport company is co-owned by both councils and is looking to expand, so asked for a lending facility.

Mark Sheldon, director of resources at Cheltenham Borough Council, said: “At a meeting held this week, both Cheltenham and Gloucester city councils have agreed a lending facility which will support the delivery of the airport’s business plan.”

A Gloucester City Council spokesman confirmed the same.

Responding to our request to know how much could be loaned by each council and how much Gloucestershire Airport owes the councils already, Mr Sheldon said: “The meetings were confidential and therefore the councils are unable to share details of the discussions which took place.

“The councils did agree a lending facility which supported the implementation of the airport business plan which was split equally between the two shareholder councils. The airport still owes the councils £1.5million of loans which relate to the previous investment in the safety of the runway.”

Darren Lewington, operations manager at the airport, could not reveal the sum involved.

“It is very much business as usual and we continue to be the UK’s busiest general aviation airport,” he said.

Selling off the asset was considered by both councils several years ago and they rejected calls to build houses on what is green belt land between Churchdown and Cheltenham.

The airport pays annual rent of around £52,000 to the shareholding councils plus a profit dividend.

The sum is a request to the shareholders – both the councils – for a loan facility that will be used to help grow the business.

Since the completion of its Runway Safety Project in 2013, the airport has seen business aviation and air taxi traffic grow by 17 per cent, Mr Lewington has said in the past.

The airport also owns Meteor Business Park where a number of aerospace companies reside, employing 2,000 people.The airport is home to around 180 aircraft and 40 aviation-related businesses employing more than 500 people.

Gloucestershire Airport was identified as a site for potential development of up to 3,500 new houses in the early stages of the Joint Core Strategy – a masterplan to bring 35,000 extra homes to the county by 2030.

But this was later dropped in favour of development of hundreds of homes in Innsworth, Twigworth and Churchdown.

News By Gloucestershire Live

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