Stobart extends option on Carlisle Airport

Distribution group Stobart has voted to extend the option to purchase Carlisle Airport for a further six months.

The board voted unanimously for an extension to the option for a consideration of £50,000. This is subject to Carlisle Airport seeking alternative methods of securing planning permission for the Stobart operations within that period. The Secretary of State, 'called-in' the planning application on 18 June 2008 deeming the decision to be of 'greater than local importance'.

In March this year, Stobart proposed to enter into an option to acquire Carlisle Airport for the consideration of up to £15m. Carlisle Airport owns 460 acres of land in Carlisle, on which Stobart proposes to upgrade the airport facilities, build a new logistics centre and consolidate its facilities in the region, subject to planning permission.

The board said it believes that the acquisition offers the group the potential to develop passenger aviation activities and provide customers with opportunities for air-freight facilities in the future.

Rodney Baker-Bates, chairman of Stobart, commented: "The board has agreed that it is sensible to extend the option for six months on Carlisle airport.

"The airport enables Stobart to consolidate its operations and create and save jobs for several hundred people in Carlisle. We very much hope for a speedy conclusion to this matter. This will minimise the uncertainty of many of our employees who may be subject to relocation pending the decision on the airport."

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