Teeside Airport bottomless pit for council cash – given another…

teeside-airport-bottomless-pit-for-council-cash-–-given-another…

Teeside Airport bottomless pit for council cash – given another…

Teeside Airport bottomless pit for council cash – given another £10 million by TVCA
2021-07-10 09:44:00
Teeside Airport is to get an extra £10m from the Tees Valley Combined Authority (TVCA), hoping to keep it afloat after Covid impacts. TVCA spent more than £40m buying the loss-making airport in 2019 following a previous election pledge by Mr Houchen to take it back from previous owner Peel. TVCA has also provided a further £19.4m to support operational expenditure, along with £15m towards capital expenditure, which has helped pay for a multi-million pound terminal redevelopment, new passenger lounges, bars etc. The Local Democracy Reporting Service (LDRS) said in November 2020 that the airport made a £2.6m loss in the previous 12 months. Its advocates say it could be profitable in about 6 years. Teeside Airport Ltd is governed financially by TVCA via another limited company, Goosepool, both being subsidiaries of TVCA, a structure which has been criticised by some for its apparent lack of transparency. Stobart Aviation, which operates Teesside Airport, has a 25% shareholding in Goosepool. Opponents of the handouts to the airport say too much is being spent on the airport and “The time for vanity projects is at an end – it’s time he started to deliver on the real needs of our people.”  .Tweet   Teesside Airport to get extra £10m from public purse By Stuart Arnold (Northern Echo) 1st July 2021 TEESSIDE Airport is to get an extra £10m as part of a ‘refresh’ of what the Tees Valley Combined Authority (TVCA) spends its money on. TVCA said the cash would “enable the airport to stay on track for its recovery plan” after commercial revenues were hit by the covid-19 pandemic. The proposed move was defended by Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen who said the airport had “achieved much more and much faster in its turnaround over the past year” than what could have been expected. But it provided further ammunition for critics of Mr Houchen who believe the airport has become something of a cash cow. [aka cash sink …] TVCA spent more than £40m buying the loss-making airport in 2019 following a previous election pledge by Mr Houchen to take it back from previous owner Peel. It has also provided a further £19.4m to support operational expenditure, along with £15m towards capital expenditure, which has helped pay for a multi-million pound terminal redevelopment, new passenger lounges, bars and other improvements. Stockton North MP Alex Cunningham said: “This £10m extra is additional to the many tens of millions he [Mr Houchen] spent buying the airport and he’s still paying a private company to run it. “There may be some good things in his new financial plan, but this is another £10m he could have invested in developing and running a public transport service, which will ensure that people can get a bus or train to work and back home again. “He may have fulfilled a pledge to buy the airport, but I have no doubt the vast majority of the public who can’t afford to take a flight would rather he addressed the needs of everyone, not just those who can afford foreign holidays. “The time for vanity projects is at an end – it’s time he started to deliver on the real needs of our people.” Asked if he was comfortable with the extra cash for the airport, Liberal Democrat councillor Chris Jones, a member of the overview and scrutiny committee at TVCA, said: “Not really no, it’s something I would like to look into and what, if anything, is going without to provide that funding. “It’s a big chunk of money from the public purse.” The Local Democracy Reporting Service (LDRS) contacted Stockton Council leader, Councillor Bob Cook, a member of the cabinet on the combined authority, which is expected to rubber stamp the updated investment plan later this week, but he said he did not want to comment. The plan, which is worth £1.2bn over the next eight years and will finance business growth, transport, culture, and job creation, sees an extra £10m go towards the so-called Indigenous Growth Fund, which since 2019 has provided £50m for local councils to regenerate town centres and local communities. An extra £5m will also be provided to boost business support for small and medium sized businesses across the region as par

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