Grant Shapps urged to save South Yorkshire airport

By Linsey McNeill
Home » Grant Shapps urged to save South Yorkshire airport

Politicians from all parties are calling for Doncaster Sheffield Airport to stay open.

And Transport Minister Grant Shapps has been urged to step in to prevent its closure.

Doncaster Sheffield’s owner, Peel Group, announced last week that the South Yorkshire airport might no longer be commercially viable following Wizz Air’s departure.

Local MPs including Ed Miliband, Rosie Winterton and Nick Fletcher are calling on Peel to keep the airport open.

South Yorkshire’s Mayor Oliver Coppard called on the Government to get involved, telling local newspapers: “If Grant Shapps isn’t going to stand up for the likes of Doncaster and South Yorkshire, what is the point of the levelling up agenda?”

It has emerged that Peel Group has received loans totalling £8.5m from South Yorkshire’s Mayoral Combined Authority, with the latest £5m paid in March 2020.

It has believed to have asked for a further £20m to keep the airport open, but the property, infrastructure and transport company is also understood to be considering turning the site into an industrial warehouse.

A Government spokesperson told local media: “We recognise Doncaster Sheffield Airport’s announcement of a review into the future of the airport will be concerning for passengers and workers, and the Government is in close contact with the airport to understand its plans.

“While this will be a commercial decision for the owners of the airport, we hope they conclude after consultation with stakeholders that there is a viable aviation future for the airport.

“Regional airports are key in serving our local communities, supporting thousands of jobs in the regions and act as a key gateway to international opportunities. We will continue to bring forward our plans to level up and ensure the whole of the UK has the connections people need.”

So far, more than 53,000 people have signed a petition to save the airport.

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