LEP Throws Lifeline To Airport

Runway will need repairs soon

The Scilly and Cornwall Local Enterprise Partnership has thrown a lifeline to St Mary’s airport with the offer of £1 million towards runway resurfacing.

That represents the bulk of the money required for the work. There had been genuine concerns that, should the surface fail a so-called grip test by the Civil Aviation Authority this autumn, flights could be restricted in wet weather or stopped entirely until the runway was improved.

The LEP has made the offer using its £13 million pot of funding available for infrastructure projects, which they got from the Government to spend on schemes in Cornwall and Scilly.

The Council’s economic development team successfully wrote a bid for the cash.

LEP Chairman Chris Pomfret, who attended a meeting on the Islands yesterday, said islanders should thank Philip Hygate for speaking up for Scilly.

Chris says Philip is one of the more vocal members of the board and “fights Scilly’s corner.” He put the case forward for funding during their meeting.

The LEP money will supplement an additional bid for European ERDF money for £3m to fund the airport upgrade and refurbishment.

The Town Hall will also need to put around £300,000 into the funding pot but whether the European grant application is successful of not, the LEP money and the Town Hall contribution means the runway work can go ahead.

Councillors discussed what will be included in a closed-door meeting on Monday. One option could be a luxury private lounge or waiting area.


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