New manufacturing hub planned for Manston Airport

Posted on 26 Sep 2014 by The Manufacturer

Manston Airport in Kent has been sold to regeneration specialists who plan to develop the site for manufacturing, housing and schools.

Trevor Cartner and Chris Musgrave, part of a consortium, have bought a majority stake for an undisclosed fee.

They plan a 20-year £1bn redevelopment to create more than 4,000 jobs. But Roger Gale, MP for Thanet North,described it as “remarkably like opportunist land-banking”.

Manston was bought by Ann Gloag, who co-founded the Stagecoach Group, for £1 last October but it closed in May with the loss of 150 jobs.

Manston was an important airstrip during WWII, and has been largely used as a cargo airport in recent years, up until its closure.

Chris Musgrave said: “Whilst it is too early to be specific about our plans, we will be looking to comprehensively redevelop the whole site to create a mixed-use community.

“This is in light of the fact that the airport has closed, the equipment has been sold and it will not reopen. We are aware that there were a number of job losses when the airport closed and a far greater number will replace these, and that the benefits will reach the whole of east Kent.”

Roger Gale said he believed it was in the “national and the local interest” for Manston to remain open as an airfield.

Riveroak, A US-based firm which had bid to buy out the Manston Airport site, and keep it as a fully working airport has vowed to continue the fight.