SHEFFIELD MP Nick Clegg has called for potential bids for Sheffield City Airport to be given a ‘fair hearing’.
Two groups are understood to be interested in asking owners Sheffield Business Park – which has planning permission to dig up the runway and build industrial units – if they can purchase the old facility with a view to reopening.
The moves follow a campaign by the South Yorkshire Federation of Small Businesses for an inquiry into whether the airport should be revived to help the city’s economy.
Mr Clegg, Deputy Prime Minister and Liberal Democrat MP for Sheffield Hallam, said: “I have some sympathy with the Federation for Small Business, which is calling for ‘urgent consideration of the potential future of commercial aviation in the city’ with regard to this issue.
“Given that potential bidders interested in reopening the airport have now made themselves known, I hope that local authorities including Sheffield Council will do all they can to facilitate a successful outcome. Simply dismissing this issue would be unacceptable and not portray the business-friendly image the city should be portraying.
“It is my view that, if possible, any potential bids are given a fair hearing before redevelopment of the site proceeds.”
Gordon Millward, the FSB’s regional chairman, said he was ‘delighted’ to have Mr Clegg’s support.
He added: “The old Sheffield City Airport’s infrastructure is a unique and irreplaceable facility which may have great value for the economic regeneration of the region.”