Lancashire

Owners in talks to sell Blackpool International Airport

Blackpool Airport
Image caption The airport served 235,000 passengers in 2013

Talks are under way to sell Blackpool Airport, 18 months after commercial passenger flights resumed across the Irish Sea.

Owners Balfour Beatty, which bought the Squires Gate site eight years ago, closed the airport in October 2014 with the loss of 100 jobs.

Daily passenger flights to the Isle of Man and Belfast resumed in April 2015.

A spokesman confirmed the company was in talks to sell the site as part of an investments portfolio review.

"We have begun very early discussions with a number of organisations regarding the potential sale of Balfour Beatty's 95% share in Blackpool Airport," he said.

He added that Blackpool Council, which owns the other 5%, "are aware of these early discussions".

When Blackpool Airport closed two years ago, Balfour Beatty said it had made a loss for several years.

In April, the Squires Gate site became an "enterprise zone" - part of the government's long-term economic plan to support business growth by giving cheaper business rates, superfast broadband and lower levels of planning control.

The airport remains a base for the North West Air Ambulance, a number of flying schools and operates short helicopter flights to the oil and gas platforms in Liverpool and Morecambe Bays.

The airport served 235,000 passengers in 2013 and was voted best UK airport in 2009, according to a Which? survey.

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