The multi-millionaire owner of Coventry Airport has predicted up to 10,000 jobs could be created as a result of plans to create a £250 million economic hub on the site.
Sir Peter Rigby, who bought the airport last April, has announced a major scheme which could create up to 10,000 jobs by 2015.
Sir Peter, the chairman of Coventry Airport, is planning two complementary development projects – the airport and its infrastructure and a joint venture to develop the environment around the airport.
That will include both a technology office park and manufacturing and distribution investment opportunities – totaling more than 200 acres – alongside improving the airport’s passenger terminal and cargo facilities.
The 65-acre office park would include a new junction from the A45 – which would also be designed to cure traffic problems at the Tollbar island.
As well as developing the passenger terminal and cargo facilities, investment in the airport infrastructure would create an on-site hotel, restaurant, car parking and airside related hangarage and facilities including a new access road.
Sir Peter said the proposed development would also re-establish passenger flights which would be a major boost to the local economy.
He said Coventry Airport would be consulting with residents and businesses to integrate the organisation within the local community.
“Since we bought Coventry Airport, our management has been very much community focused and, as always, we are looking to work with the community we serve and bring jobs to the area,” he said.
“Our plans to improve the airport’s infrastructure and facilities will benefit the entire West Midlands because we want Coventry Airport to act as an economic catalyst for job creation and income generation.
“As soon as is practicable, we aim to re-establish passenger airlines which will reduce travel time for business and leisure travellers and, crucially at this time, our proposals will lead to the creation of up to 10,000 jobs directly and indirectly.
“We would have the immediate capacity to serve one million passengers a year by re-starting airline operations.
“We estimate it will be worth £177.9 million of Gross Value Added (GVA) to the economy which will generate income for local and regional financial stability and will be a central transport hub by improving communications links across the region as well as competitiveness and efficiency.”
Sir Peter is forming a joint venture company with a major developer and is planning to create a new extension to the south west end of Middlemarch Business Park – and create a new office park to the north of the airport.
“The business park element of the scheme will be on the outer ring of the airport and will be a major boost to industry and the local economy because it will support the growth of business adjacent to excellent transport links and diversify the industry and skills of people,” he said.
“We will be consulting with local residents and the business community and hope they are as excited by our proposals as we are to put Coventry firmly on the aviation and business map.
“We have always seen Coventry Airport as an economic catalyst for job creation and income generation in the region. These plans are a major step to turning that very much into a reality.”