Council offered lease to run Doncaster Sheffield Airport by owners Peel Group

 Doncaster Sheffield Airport lit up in colour
At its peak the airport processed more than a million passengers a year, flying to 50 destinations.

The prospect of Doncaster Sheffield Airport reopening has moved closer - after the council was offered a lease to operate the site. City of Doncaster Council said talks are taking place with owners the Peel Group who closed the airport in Autumn 2022 saying it was no longer commercially viable.

A statement released on Friday 31 March said City of Doncaster Council's Cabinet was being asked to "ring-fence" over £3m towards the legal and programme costs associated with its ongoing fight to save Doncaster Sheffield Airport.

It said: "Peel has recently offered a lease of the airport to City of Doncaster Council.

"Discussions are taking place to progress this option and to explore whether a lease at a longer term and on a different commercial basis than that initially offered by Peel could provide a basis upon which to achieve the Council’s objectives.

"The Council will continue discussions with Peel over the potential sale but is continuing preparations in the event that a CPO becomes necessary."

The project to re-open DSA has been called South Yorkshire Airport City.

It aims to "re-open the airport and grow a cluster of businesses and commercial activity that complements traditional aerospace functions, including logistics."

On Wednesday April 12, City of Doncaster Council’s Cabinet will meet to discuss a report that sets out the current position in relation to the airport and the "extensive activity" being undertaken to secure its future. It also outlines the initial programme costs of up to £3.1m if a Compulsory Purchase Order is required. 

The airport opened in 2005 after it was converted by the Peel Group from the old RAF Finningley airbase.

At its peak it processed more than a million passengers a year, flying to 50 destinations.

The council said that whilst it understands that there have been "credible financial offers" to purchase Doncaster Sheffield Airport, to date none of these has been accepted by current owners, Peel.

Mayor of Doncaster Ros Jones said: “Sadly, our award-winning airport has now closed, but the fight is not over! Our aim is to reach agreement on the acquisition of the airport with Peel, but if necessary we will seek to compulsorily purchase the site and we are preparing for that eventuality now, should it be required.

“The acquisition process will take time and it will not be cheap. However, this airport has the potential to be the jewel in the crown of the Doncaster and South Yorkshire economy. It is an investment in the future of this great city and the region. That is why this report to Cabinet sets out the latest position and asks for the support to progress our endeavours for the site’s future. I hope a sale can be achieved but, if not, we have to plan for other ways to secure the airport for the aviation industry, our communities and our economy.”

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