TWO groups could make offers to buy the old Sheffield City Airport and reopen it to provide services to Heathrow and Amsterdam.
The news has been revealed after a public meeting about the future of the facility attended by politicians and the Federation of Small Businesses.
The meeting, at the Aston Hotel, Catcliffe, was called by Tory Euro MP Timothy Kirkhope.
Spencer Pitfield, Conservative chairman in Sheffield, said: “There are two groups who are prepared to make offers to buy the airport from Sheffield Business Park and reopen it.
“These are serious people with serious money, and they are considering making approaches to the owners.”
Dr Pitfield did not reveal the identity of the bidders but The Star understands one already operates a small airfield elsewhere in the UK.
Sheffield steel tycoon Andrew Cook has announced that he would provide financial support to a consortium making a bid.
Mr Cook, chairman of William Cook Holdings, said: “I am willing to step forward as part of a consortium.
“Businesses want a link from Sheffield to hub airports at Heathrow and Amsterdam, and also to have other regional services. “At the moment, Heathrow is a nightmare to get to.”
But he added: “I don’t believe the airport would make money from the beginning. I believe the local authority would have to be party to this consortium - it should view the airport like any other civic asset such as the railway or bus station.”
Coun Shaffaq Mohammed, Lib Dem opposition leader on Sheffield Council who attended the meeting, said: “We should give any consortium space to develop their plan - once the runway is dug up it is gone forever.”
Coun Mohammed said the council should ‘listen to the proposals’ before deciding whether or not to provide support.
But Coun Bryan Lodge, Sheffield Council cabinet member for finance, said: “We are not making cuts to public services to then support a private business which failed previously.”
* Do you think Sheffield needs its own airport? Email: email@example.com