A £20m cash injection of to help secure the long term future of Teesside Airport has been agreed by council leaders.

Earlier this month, it was revealed the international airport, brought into public ownership by Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen in 2019, made an £11.8m loss in the last 12 months.

The figure was a £2m improvement on last year but shows the effect of a second year  battling lockdowns and travel restrictions during the pandemic.

Bosses said the cash would be used to cover the loss and to be put towards creating new jobs, bringing more flights and generating extra revenue.

Read more: Teesside Airport reveal when new viewing platform will open 

At Friday's (July 22) meeting, the £20m cash injection was approved as part of the Tees Valley Combined Authority's refreshed ten-year investment plan, which also included Hartlepool and Middlesbrough Development Corporations and a new Tees Valley Energy Company.

However, Redcar & Cleveland Council leader Mary Lanigan expressed concerns about the level of transparency surrounding the overall investment plan, adding "when it comes to investments of this nature – we need the scrutiny committee to investigate this."

The Northern Echo: Teesside International Airport. Picture: NORTHERN ECHOTeesside International Airport. Picture: NORTHERN ECHO

She also maintained she did not want "anything bad to happen to Teesside Airport or any of the other investments happening in the region " but stressed it needed to be "above board and open". 

She said: “At Redcar & Cleveland Council, we have a different process when it comes to major investments – and feel that the process that the combined authority is a little backwards.

The Northern Echo: Cllr Mary Lanigan, leader of Redcar & Cleveland Council. Picture: NORTHERN ECHOCllr Mary Lanigan, leader of Redcar & Cleveland Council. Picture: NORTHERN ECHO

“I believe that when it comes to investments of this nature – we need the scrutiny committee to investigate this.

“We don’t want anything bad to happen to Teesside Airport or any of the other investments happening in the region – but it needs to be above board and open – we need to be singing from the same hymn sheet.”

Cllr Shane Moore, leader of Hartlepool Borough Council echoed the issues – saying that scrutiny was a “powerful tool” in any investment deal.

The Northern Echo: Tees Valley Mayor, Ben Houchen. Picture: NORTHERN ECHOTees Valley Mayor, Ben Houchen. Picture: NORTHERN ECHO

After the amendment, it was agreed that the investment plan would move forward but be sent to the overview and scrutiny committee for further consultation. Welcoming the move, Tees Valley Mayor, Ben Houchen, assured the council leaders that it would have “zero impact” on the timeline of the airport receiving the £20m.

Speaking to The Northern Echo after the meeting, Mr Houchen said: “It’s huge for the airport – the funding was needed. During the pandemic, there has been a big loss in investment – but with this £20m, we can build on the work we’ve been doing since 2019 here.

“You can see from today that leaders know the impact of potentially losing a vital place like the airport.”          

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