Manston Airport has been sold. Photo courtesy of BBC

Manston Airport has been sold, it has been announced. James Prentice tells us about the recent purchase of Manston, and how it will no longer function as an airport.

Kent’s local Manston Airport has been sold to regeneration specialists who hope to develop the site for manufacturing, housing and schools.

After a history of financial difficulties, Manston Airport was brought for £1 Last October by Ann Gloag, co-founder of Stagecoach, in the hope it could remain as a fully functioning airport.

However, it was announced in May 2014 that Manston was to close, resulting in the loss of 15 jobs.

Fearing the local area would decline, and become an economically isolated and deprived small town within the South East, campaigners lobbied local politicians, resulting in the local MP appealing to national government officials to get backing and funds.

This scheme drew moral support, but not financial.

It was recently announced, however, that Discovery Park, who has dealt with regeneration investment in the past, decided to invest in Manston. Owners Trevor Cartner and Chris Musgrave have bought a majority stake in the business.

They plan a twenty year development project, estimated to cost around £1 billion, which will create “more than 4,000 jobs”.

Mr Musgrave stated: “We will be looking to comprehensively redevelop the whole site to create a mixed-use community”.

Manston’s equipment has been sold and the site and it will not function as an airport again.

Local Tory MP for Thanet North, Roger Gale, stated that it sounded “remarkably like opportunist land-banking”.