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Doncaster Council kicks off talks to breathe new life into Sheffield Airport for the next century

The governing body of Doncaster Council has greenlit the commencement of discussions aimed at identifying a financial backer to relaunch Doncaster Sheffield Airport.

Starting from Monday, 25 September, the focus will be on selecting a financier willing to forge a long-term lease agreement with the current proprietors, Peel Group, for a period extending beyond a century. The airport had to cease operations the previous year due to it no longer being economically sustainable, according to Peel.

This leasing arrangement is a component of the council's more expansive initiative known as the South Yorkshire Airport City scheme. The objective of this programme is to catalyse a hub of commercial activities in the vicinity of the airport.

This encompasses prospects in the sectors of retail, recreation, and supply chain management, with an estimated job creation potential of approximately 16,500 positions. An evaluation of financial feasibility has projected that, by its tenth year of operation, the rejuvenated airport could witness an annual footfall of up to 2 million passengers.

In a unique cabinet assembly, the Mayor of Doncaster, Ros Jones, conveyed her positive outlook regarding the airport's prospects for economic self-sufficiency and considerable contributions to the local economy.

Preliminary interactions with potential market players have yielded optimistic responses, indicating a high level of interest in operating the facility. While the Civil Aviation Authority had contemplated revoking the airport's controlled airspace status, this action has been postponed, thereby extending the window for negotiation.

The council is targeting the completion of an agreement by March of 2024, conditional upon the stipulations laid down by Peel Group being deemed acceptable.

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