Stobart Air, a division of Stobart Group, has been given the go-ahead to develop Carlisle Lake District Airport, after its planning application was approved today by Carlisle City Council’s development control committee.
The application sought planning permission for the erection of a 374,000 sq ft distribution centre, along with the raising and re-profiling of the main runway at the airport, and the decision has helped to safeguard over 800 jobs in the local area.
The development control committee passed the development after hearing how the distribution centre, which would house key Eddie Stobart warehousing contracts, would deliver the rental income required to help upgrade airport facilities and allow passenger flights to commence.
As part of the supporting evidence, Irish airline Aer Arran identified that passenger routes from Carlisle to Dublin and Stobart-owned London Southend Airport would be sustainable and would successfully integrate into its current network.
This link to Southend, where Stobart Group recently invested over £100 million in upgrades and now operates flights to 13 overseas destinations through easyJet and Aer Arran services, would also create additional revenue streams for the Group.
The application received overwhelming public support and was backed by tourism and business leaders across Cumbria who recognised the benefits passenger flights would bring to boost tourism, stimulate economic growth and attract further inward investment.
Andrew Tinkler, Stobart Group chief executive, said: "The decision is extremely positive for the people of Cumbria as it will drive the economy, boost tourism and safeguard over 800 direct and indirect jobs. The freight distribution centre will allow Eddie Stobart to attract new clients while providing the rental income required to develop Carlisle Airport and commence passenger operations. Additional Group revenue streams will be realised as we link Carlisle and Southend airports to give passengers seamless connections to Europe."