Airport to receive £8million grant to 'protect jobs'

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- Credit: Archant

Bristol Airport will receive a government grant of up to £8million to ‘help to protect jobs and the local economy’. 

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps announced that six South West airports will each receive an £8million grant, which will be equivalent to the business rates the airports would otherwise have to pay – meaning the airports will pay nothing in business rates in 2020/21. 

The airports at Bournemouth, Bristol, Exeter, Isles of Scilly, Land’s End and Newquay will all benefit. 

The funding, which will also be used to support ground handlers, comes as Mr Shapps announced plans to reduce the time needed in self-isolation after travelling abroad. 

From December 15, passengers returning from overseas will be given the option of having a coronavirus test after five days in isolation, with a negative test releasing them from the need to isolate for any longer. 

The new funding and quarantine measures are designed to give a much-needed boost to the aviation sector, which has faced a challenging year after passenger numbers severely declined during the coronavirus pandemic. 

In total, the aviation and aerospace sectors have received more than £9billion in support. 

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North Somerset MP, Dr Liam Fox, welcomed the funding. 

He said: “This is excellent news for Bristol Airport, which has been heavily impacted by the pandemic.  

“The airport plays an important role in our local and regional economy.  

“More than 400 people rely on the airport directly for employment, with many others working in supporting businesses.  

“I am delighted that the government has listened to those of us who made the case for a boost to the aviation sector during this very challenging time.” 

West of England Mayor Tim Bowles added: “The new support announced by the government is excellent news for Bristol Airport and the wider aviation industry that is such an important part of the West of England’s economy, helping secure these decent, well-paid jobs for the long-term. 

 “It’s vital for us to have a regional airport to encourage inward investment and bring international investors and jobs to the region. 

 “The changes to bring in a regime of testing and shorter isolation will help unlock our economy and get us doing business safely again.” 

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