Durham Tees Valley fails in regional growth fund bid

Durham Tees Valley Airport has failed in a second bid to secure government cash to support its expansion plans.

The airport was seeking £4.65m from the regional growth fund (RGF) to build a new access road and develop a business park to the south of its runway.

Bosses at airport owners Peel Group said it was "extremely disappointing" news.

Ten projects around the north-east of England will receive a total of £48m in the latest round of RGF funding.

'Consider the options'

The Peel Group claimed its plans had the potential to create 4,500 jobs over the next decade.

Strategic planning director Peter Nears said: "We believe that we made a very strong case for a project which could be of enormous benefit to both the airport and the area as a whole.

"Clearly, in the light of today's announcement, we will need to consider the options now available to us."

Mr Nears said the airport had taken on board feedback from the initial bid, but Stockton South Conservative MP James Wharton said it had submitted exactly the same application.

"When you ask the same question twice, you get the same answer twice," he said.

"This wasn't a bid that would have created more passenger flights from Teesside airport - this was a bid for a freight hub and a mini industrial park.

"I'm a big supporter of the airport. I want to see it be a success, but I want to see it be a success as an airport. We need more routes, more facilities and for people to be able to fly places from it."

Phil Wilson, Labour MP for Sedgefield, said there were problems with passenger numbers but insisted people had to remain "optimistic" about the airport's future.

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