Thursday, 16 June 2011

The once-secret KCC funding bid for Manston Airport


From the No-Night Flights Campaigners:

"Freedom of Information - Kent County Council put in a bid for £10.8m of public money from the Regional Growth Fund. When asked for information about the bid, they refused to release any details. Now they have been forced to release most (but not all) of the details, and it makes for very interesting reading...

A closer look at that bid

On closer examination, this bid is actually a damning indictment of the business proposal it's supposed to be supporting. Infratil have so little faith in this new venture that they won't stump up the necessary £½m+ to persuade an airline to risk it. They won't even pay their own staff!  The anonymous airline will only play ball if someone else (Infratil) bankrolls the risk, and Infratil will only foot the bill with someone else's (
our) money. The closer you look, the more it becomes obvious that this is already a commercial basket-case...

It won't have escaped your notice that Manston airport cynically dangles the prospect of massive local employment in front of Thanet councillors, in the hope of hypnotising them into compliance.
We've all seen the numbers they've been coming out with in the local press.

Now you can see the numbers they presented to the Government funding body. They're different, VERY different, and not in a good way.

From Kent Online

Manston's failed bids for public cash

Manston has twice before had public money invested in airline ventures which both failed.

In 2005, KCC ploughed £100,000 into a service operated by EUJet, which went into administration and then in 2007, KCC then spent nearly £300,000 in 2007 in an unsuccessful venture to run weekly charter flights from Manston to Virginia in the USA.

As part of its bid totalling £10.8m, the government was asked to support a request for £7.7m to build the Thanet Parkway station and £2m to improve journey times between Ramsgate and London.

Consultants, commissioned by KCC, to examine the impact of the new service, said just 23 jobs would be created at the airport, with a further estimated 133 indirect jobs over eight years across east Kent."

So, do we in Margate really want a station at Parkway in the middle of nowhere? 

Is it possible we would lose trains direct to Margate and we'd have to get a shuttle bus from Manston to Margate?



  1. We could do with a train station at Westwood Cross.

  2. EasyJet has signed an agreement with a major airport in the SE near the sea which will make the airport London's sixth. One hour from London by rail. The airport will from next April become a hub for European destinations and 800,000 passengers are forcast in the first year growwing to 2,000,000 in the second.
    It could have been Manston but its not. Southend-on-Sea, less than an hour from much of Kent just like Manston.
    The owners puchased the airport for £21 millions and have invested £60 millions of their own money including building a new railway station. Manston expected the government to pay for its expansion. No wonder the bid by KCC was turned dowm. Manston is now very dead in the water for at least the next 10 years.

  3. Sir Reresby Rookwood19 June 2011 at 01:15

    This is very interesting news 18.16. What a bloody shambles! Thanet misses out again. Dearie me, things are getting bad aren't they? The town is- despite the delusional tosh spouted by supporters of the TC- on its arse. 14000 jobs are predicted to go in the next few years in East Kent. When the arts grants run out there will be a scramble for the exits. The cupboard is bare and there ain't no doubt. My advice is cash in your chips while the Turner bubble lasts. No Manston, no future. TDC should be placed under Special Measures. What a bunch of shysters. Bless 'em all.