28 November 2023
In a surprise announcement late on Tuesday, the two councils that own Gloucestershire Airport, one of the UK’s top General Aviation airports, announced it is up for sale.
Cheltenham Borough and Gloucester City Councils say they “are seeking new investment for the airport and are expected to instruct advisors to bring it to market in the near future”.
Jason Ivey, airport director,said, “The timing’s right to seek new investment, expertise and resources – it makes commercial sense for everyone.
“The airport’s a real asset for Gloucestershire and with the right investment it can play an even greater role in unlocking regional growth and supporting exciting projects like the Golden Valley development.”
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Councillor Rowena Hay, leader of Cheltenham Borough Council, said, “The future of the airport and the contribution both the airport and the businesses located there make to the regional economy is well recognised. The timing is now right for both councils to bring in a new owner to take it forward.”
Councillor Richard Cook, leader of Gloucester City Council, added, “Both councils are committed to preserving the airport as a centre for aviation for the benefit of Gloucestershire, especially given its extensive heritage. It plays a hugely important role within the region and we hope that a new owner will take it to the next level.”
The existing 300-acre Gloucestershire Airport site was formed in 1936 and originally named Staverton Airport, replacing its predecessor at Down Hatherley Airfield. In 1993 Gloucester City and Cheltenham Borough Councils formed Gloucestershire Airport Limited.
Today, Gloucestershire Airport is one of the UK’s busiest general aviation airports, ranking in the CAA’s top 15 airports for aircraft movements. It has its own fire station and two business parks spanning a combined 700,000 square-foot.
The airport received a multi-million pound investment in 2021, funded by the Gloucestershire Local Enterprise Partnership, Gloucester City and Cheltenham Borough Councils. The ‘upgrades’ closed the north-south runway adding over 300,000 sq ft of surplus land for development.
“These upgrades, as well as surplus land and a range of potential redevelopment and other commercial opportunities, within the airport and adjoining business parks, mean the airport should prove an exciting proposition for a new owner to come in and build on its historic success,” said the councils’ statement.