PLANS to redevelop abandoned former passenger facilities at Coventry Airport could create up to 600 jobs.
Airport bosses have agreed to sell around 30 acres of land for the creation of a modern manufacturing and distribution hub.
It follows the government’s refusal earlier this year of planning permission – following a public inquiry – for a manufacturing and warehousing scheme on Greenbelt land around the airport.
The latest work would be carried out by Ostrava Property, a newly-formed company within the Rigby Group specialist property investment division.
The land – housing the former temporary passenger waiting area for Thomson’s discontinued routes out of Coventry – has been unused for over seven years.
The last passenger flight to use the site was in November 2008, two years before the airport’s acquisition by owners Rigby Group.
Before then, Coventry Airport ran a thriving passenger service to major tourist destinations across Europe and further afield. But ambitions to grow the passenger business were thwarted when the government blocked further development.
Peter Burns, president of the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce and chair of the Coventry Airport Consultative Committee, welcomed the news.
He said: “There is no question that Coventry Airport is a considerable economic asset which brings investment and employment to the area, and this proposed development is another example of that.”
Andrew Cox, of Ostrava Property called it “a win-win situation”.
He added: “While we focus on building a first-rate business hub to serve the business community, the airport will be investing in significantly improved premises, increasing the throughput of executive passengers and making the area even more attractive to outside businesses and investors.”
And Rob Sweeney, of Coventry Airport, said the proposal formed a major part of their future plans.
He added: “With the closure of the passenger terminal and associated buildings on the south side of the airport, the land is redundant for aviation purposes and disposal of that as a site for commercial development will make a significant contribution towards the airport’s future investment and financial strength.
“The South side upgrade will effectively revive part of the site which has not been in use for many years, replacing concrete with modern business spaces built to match the local area’s aspirations.”