Cheltenham Borough and Gloucester City Councils, working in partnership with Gloucestershire Airport’s bolstered senior leadership team, are seeking new investment for the airport and are expected to instruct advisors to bring it to market in the near future.
Jason Ivey, airport director, comments: “The timing’s right to seek new investment, expertise and resources – it makes commercial sense for everyone. The airport’s a real asset for Gloucestershire and with the right investment it can play an even greater role in unlocking regional growth and supporting exciting projects like the Golden Valley development.”
Gloucestershire Airport has brought in a new human resources manager, Imogen Maguire, head of finance, Angela Madigan, and head of operations, Brian Rawlings – all of whom will play a central role in the sale of the airport.
“I’m delighted to have added Imogen, Angela and Brian to the team,” continues Jason: “Their additions mean we couldn’t be better placed to grab this opportunity with both hands and take the airport to the next level.”
Councillor Rowena Hay, leader of Cheltenham Borough Council, said: “The future of the airport and the contribution both the airport and the businesses located there make to the regional economy is well recognised. The timing is now right for both councils to bring in a new owner to take it forward.”
Paul Jones, executive director for finance, assets and regeneration for Cheltenham Borough Council, added: “The councils are looking forward to working with the airport to secure the best all round result that will deliver for the business, local taxpayers and the wider economy.”
Councillor Richard Cook, leader of Gloucester City Council, reiterated this view: “Both councils are committed to preserving the airport as a centre for aviation for the benefit of Gloucestershire, especially given its extensive heritage. It plays a hugely important role within the region and we hope that a new owner will take it to the next level.”
The existing 300-acre Gloucestershire Airport site was formed in 1936 and originally named Staverton Airport, replacing its predecessor at Down Hatherley Airfield. In 1993 Gloucester City and Cheltenham Borough Councils formed Gloucestershire Airport Limited.
Today, Gloucestershire Airport is one of the UK’s busiest general aviation airports, ranking in the Civil Aviation Authority’s top 15 airports for aircraft movements. It has its own fire station and two business parks spanning a combined 700,000 square-foot, including the recently completed CGX Connect. Numerous high-profile aviation related businesses, such as Babcock and Safran Group, call the airport home.
The airport received a much-needed multi-million pound investment in 2021, which was funded by the Gloucestershire Local Enterprise Partnership, Gloucester City and Cheltenham Borough Councils. These upgrades meant the north-south runway could be closed, freeing up over 300,000 square foot of surplus land for development. Work completed included runway resurfacing, the installation of new runway lighting, upgrades to signage and drainage, and the installation of below-ground infrastructure in readiness for a new radar system.
These upgrades, as well as surplus land and a range of potential redevelopment and other commercial opportunities, within the airport and adjoining business parks, mean the airport should prove an exciting proposition for a new owner to come in and build on its historic success.