1. ITV Report

VIDEO: Blackpool Airport Back Under Public Ownership

Blackpool Council has bought the Blackpool Airport site. Photo: ITV Granada

Blackpool Airport is back under public ownership after the local council bought the site in a £4.25m deal.

Wednesday's purchase from Balfour Beatty by Blackpool Council, which was previously a 5% shareholder, will see it take full control of the operating company Regional and City Airports (Blackpool) Holdings Ltd.

Council leader Simon Blackburn said:

"Today is a really important day for aviation on the Fylde coast and this sale heralds a positive new dawn for Blackpool Airport.

"This move will protect the airport as a company, including the 30 jobs that are currently employed there.

"It will also allow us to ensure that the airport itself can continue to operate as an important hub that can benefit the whole region.

"Blackpool Airport is such a key part of having a strong local economy and it is absolutely vital that we safeguard its future and ensure that it can continue to be used as an aviation and employment hub for the Fylde coast for the long term.

"We do not envisage the return of large scale passenger planes to the airport. The purpose of this acquisition is to safeguard the helicopter and other commercial airside activities that take place, build upon them and deliver our overall objective of creating up to 5,000 jobs on the Enterprise Zone site."

– Council leader Simon Blackburn.

The council last owned the airport in 2004, when it was sold to City Hopper Airports for a total of £13m - before being sold on to Balfour Beatty in 2008.

The airport was placed into administration in 2014, closing temporarily before reopening with reduced capacity.