Plea over plans to sell Blackpool Airport assets

Photo Neil Cross'The closure of Blackpool Airport
Photo Neil Cross'The closure of Blackpool Airport
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MPs have today warned liquidators in charge of Blackpool Airport Ltd not to sell off vital equipment needed to run the terminal.

Their pleas came as Zolfo Cooper, which was called in earlier this month to deal with the huge £21m debts of the failed company, revealed it was preparing to sell and auction off assets from the site.

Employees have been at the Squires Gate site to value and catalogue items which can be sold to raise money to pay creditors, the largest of whom are owner Balfour Beatty’s companies, but who also comprise non-secured creditors who are owed £2m.

A spokesman for Manchester and London-based Zolfo said: “We don’t have a date yet, but it is planned to auction the non-airside assets before Christmas and the airside 
assets after Christmas.”

MPs have been working with local councils and lobbying Government to come up with a plan to secure the future of the airport as an 
aviation centre.

Today, Fylde MP Mark Menzies said: “I am still holding out hope that a buyer can be found who would come in and reopen the airport in some form or another so am extremely concerned to hear this is happening so soon.

“If liquidating these assets were to potentially make the airport less attractive to investors then I would consider it an act of economic vandalism and a betrayal of all those who are working so hard to maintain aviation on that site.

“I have today written to Balfour Beatty and the liquidator to let my feelings be known on this subject. I have successfully called an Adjournment Debate on the situation at Blackpool Airport, to be held in the House of Commons on Monday, November 3, and this will certainly be one of the things I raise with the Minister during that session.”

Blackpool South MP Gordon Marsden said he, too, had high hopes a buyer may yet come forward and that there should be no rush to sell equipment which could be needed to operate aircraft.

He said: “Anything integral to viable aviation at Blackpool Airport should not be sold at this time. Balfour Beatty should take strong note.”