Tees Valley mayor Ben Houchen and Peel Airports has announced that terms have been reached to bring Durham Tees Valley Airport (DTVA) back into public ownership.
Following a period of discussions under a non-disclosure agreement, the mayor has presented a proposal to acquire Peel’s 89% shareholding in DTVA and 819 acres of land for £40m.
As part of the agreement, a parcel of land with outline planning permission for 350 homes will also be purchased. The mayor has committed to stopping the planned housing development.
The mayor has now called an emergency meeting of the Tees Valley Combined Authority Cabinet in January 2019 to approve the deal.
The deal, if approved by cabinet, will transfer ownership of DTVA to the Tees Valley Combined Authority early in 2019.
The Tees Valley Combined Authority is one of seven mayoral combined authorities in England.
It is responsible for economic growth and job creation in the area. Its cabinet is made up of the leaders of Darlington, Hartlepool, Middlesbrough, Redcar & Cleveland and Stockton with the Tees Valley mayor as its chairman.
With a total investment fund of £513m, the Tees Valley Combined Authority is charged with making local decisions to support the growth of the region’s economy.
The mayor proposes to use just over 6% of that fund to bring Durham Tees Valley Airport back into public ownership – meaning there will be zero impact on people’s council tax bills, zero impact on public services and zero impact on businesses.
At a joint press conference hosted at Durham Tees Valley Airport, Peel Airports chairman Robert Hough said: “Further to the election of mayor Ben Houchen, as the airport owners and operators since 2003 we have in good faith shown willing to engage with the mayor on his ambition for the future of Durham Tees Valley Airport to return to public ownership.
“Following numerous meetings over many months a proposal has been put forward by the mayor to fully acquire the Peel Group’s 89% shareholding in DTVA.
“At this stage we have an agreement in principle, subject to approval by the local authority leaders.
“We understand the Mayor will now seek support for his proposal from the leaders and we await further progress on this.
“Should a sale proceed then Peel will work seamlessly with the mayor and the combined authority to ensure a smooth transition.
“In the meantime, DTVA will continue to operate as usual, with no impact on the travel plans of our passengers.”