Doncaster Mayor Ros Jones “dismayed and disappointed” over Doncaster Sheffield Airport closure

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Peel Group this morning announced they would be closing Doncaster Sheffield Airport following a battle from local authorities to keep it open.

Doncaster’s Mayor Ros Jones spoke out against Peel Group’s decision to close the airport in a statement this afternoon.

She said: ““I am absolutely dismayed and disappointed by Peel’s announcement today.”

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“Despite a realistic offer of a financial lifeline from the public sector and support from national government to keep the airport open and operational whilst a new owner/operator is secured, the airport owners have said it is their decision to close.”

Doncaster mayor Ros JonesDoncaster mayor Ros Jones
Doncaster mayor Ros Jones

“This reasonable offer would have created greater certainty for staff, the airport and the aviation industry at a time of economic stress. Our concerted efforts have found several significant and seriously interested parties in the airport which wanted to be part of its future.”

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“Peel’s decision and their wholly reluctant approach throughout the last 10 weeks has been completely uncompromising and unreasonable. It is now clear that Peel was never seriously interested in looking at the opportunities offered to them which have been developed at pace and in good faith, preferring to close the airport and seek to develop the land for other uses which could generate greater commercial value for them and their shareholders.”

“I would urge Peel that it is not too late to do the right thing and reconsider their decision for the sake of those employees, businesses and communities directly impacted by this appalling decision.”

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“If Peel is determined to follow this course of action then our immediate focus must be on supporting those 2,700 plus employees, staff, residents and businesses within Doncaster and beyond whose futures are now in jeopardy as a result of their actions.”

The decision comes after South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority (SYMCA)’s announcement on Friday that they would offer financial support to keep the airport open while negotiations were ongoing.

Despite this, Peel Group said: “No tangible proposals have been received regarding the ownership of the airport or which address the fundamental lack of financial viability.”

The airport will begin winding down operations from the week commencing 31 October.

In these confusing and worrying times, local journalism is more vital than ever. Thanks to everyone who helps us ask the questions that matter by taking out a subscription or buying a paper. We stand together. Liam Hoden, editor.

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