Ben Houchen says work to “rebuild Teesside Airport” will start on Friday, as soon as the Tees Valley Combined Authority’s 10-year investment plan is approved on Thursday.
Following a series of announcements on Tuesday, it became clear all five of the Tees region’s council leaders intend to support an overall investment plan at a meeting of the combined authority’s cabinet.
The 10-year vision includes Houchen’s bid to buy Durham Tees Valley Airport from Peel Airports, as well as a deal he has secured with Tata for 1,420 acres of South Tees land.
In their statements, Labour leaders Sue Jeffrey and Dave Budd both said there are still areas of concern surrounding the airport buyout, but say they intend to approve it during Thursday morning’s meeting.
“I’m delighted that all five council leaders have decided to put party-politics aside and throw their weight behind my plan to save Teesside Airport,” said Houchen.
“When I first pledged to take our airport back into public ownership, I was widely ridiculed and told it couldn’t be done. But thanks to the tens of thousands of you who put your faith in me, we are now within reaching distance of taking back control of our airport to secure its future for generations to come.
“If my 10 Year Rescue Plan is formally approved on Thursday, we will get to work on Friday to rebuild our airport. This will take time, but I’m ready for the challenge.
“I want to take this opportunity to thank the people of the Tees Valley for sticking with me over the past 18 months. This is your victory too.
“Together, this will be an airport owned by the people, for the people, that will work in the interests of Tees Valley residents and our local economy.
“Let’s do this!”