International and domestic connections from smaller airports to be expanded in UK

29 March 2015 (Last Updated March 29th, 2015 18:30)

The UK’s Department of Transport (DoT) has received 19 bids during the initial application stage for funding from the Regional Air Connectivity Fund.

airport

The UK's Department of Transport (DoT) has received 19 bids during the initial application stage for funding from the Regional Air Connectivity Fund.

The fund will help develop new routes for regional airports that currently handle less than five million passengers annually.

Launched in 2013, the fund has already supported new routes from Dundee into Newquay into London and is now being expanded to support new international and domestic regional air routes in a bidding process for start-up aid. It will invest £56m in three years as financial support for start-up aid.

"I'm delighted that so many regions across the country are set to benefit from improved connections, boosting trade and tourism."

UK will be able to enhance regional connectivity to boost trade and create job opportunities in their regions.

Some of the bids include routes like Norwich to Paris, Southampton to Lyon and Oxford to Edinburgh.

Goodwill said: "The range and ambition of the bids shows how smaller airports can transform their local areas with new connections and trade links. This announcement builds on the government's commitment to ensuring smaller airports grow, boosting both local and national economies."

Speaking about the bids, chief secretary to the treasury Danny Alexander said: "As someone from the north of Scotland, I appreciate the value of regional connectivity for businesses and communities, which is why I created the Regional Air Connectivity Fund. I'm delighted that so many regions across the country are set to benefit from improved connections, boosting trade and tourism.

"This fund boost regional economies, so is also great value for the taxpayer; the Newquay to London link that I announced last year has a return rate of nearly three pounds for every pound invested, benefitting people across the UK. I hope these routes, if successful in the bidding process, will be well used and will support stronger economic growth across the country."

Shortlist of routes meeting the criteria of initial application stage will be announced in early May, with the routes that will move forward to the strategic and economic appraisal stage to be announced in July.


Image: The funding will help smaller airports enhance their regional connectivity. Photo: courtesy of Department of Transport/Gov.UK.