A NORTH-EAST airport has appointed a nearby accountancy company to carry out the audit of its accounts.

MHA Tait Walker, based in Stockton, was selected to carry out the work for Durham Tees Valley Airport following a tendering process that was restricted to companies based in the Tees Valley at the request of Mayor Ben Houchen.

The appointment comes after Mr Houchen vowed more Tees Valley companies would be used at the airport following its return to public ownership.

Last week, Teesside-based Close Protection Security were contracted to provide extra security on the airport site and in a further boost for the region, the airport is now looking for a North-East company to take over payroll services at the airport.

Mr Houchen said: “I’m pleased that we’ve been able to appoint a local company to carry out our airport’s annual accounts audit.

“We have so many great companies here in the Tees Valley and there’s no need for a London-based global accounting firm to do the work. It’s our airport and it needs to support local businesses – and it is.

“This latest contract signals our commitment to support local businesses and local jobs. Over the coming months, we’ll be asking even more local companies to bid for work.”

Andrew Moorby, managing partner at MHA Tait Walker, added: “Given the high quality of other firms based in the Tees Valley we are delighted to have won this tender process.

"We intend to work very hard to demonstrate that putting faith in the local business community is the correct policy and the whole of our area will benefit from this.”

Shaun Woods, airport manager at DTVA, said: “We look forward to working with MHATait Walker and we would like to congratulate them on this appointment.”

Last month, Mr Houchen says taxpayers were being 'held to ransom' over the rights to the name of Teesside Airport.

He said the move to change Durham Tees Valley's name to Teesside International Airport could take at least eighteen months and a lengthy legal battle after an advertising company demanded £250,000 of taxpayer's money to sell the trademark.

A company called Hook Advertising Limited, owned by businessman Chris Joseph, registered the trademark for Teesside Airport, plus some domain names, several years ago and is now asking the Tees Valley Combined Authority to pay £250,000 for the rights to the name.

He claimed Mr Joseph's company had asked for £250,000 and threatened that the amount would double every six months unless it is paid – something Mr Joseph has strenuously denied.