Doncaster Sheffield Airport: Sir Richard Branson declines offer to take part in talks to save the site

Sir Richard Branson has declined campaigners’ offers to become involved in the future of Doncaster Sheffield Airport.

The Virgin Atlantic entrepreneur, now 72, was approached as part of a bid to form a consortium of aviation industry leaders who could potentially buy or run the airport, which owners Peel Group have confirmed they will no longer operate.

A spokesman for the Virgin Group has now confirmed that there is no involvement from Sir Richard.

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The brief statement said: “We can confirm that Sir Richard Branson is not part of discussions on this issue”

Sir Richard BransonSir Richard Branson
Sir Richard Branson

Ahead of the closure, South Yorkshire Mayor Oliver Coppard and Doncaster Mayor Ros Jones confirmed they were in talks with a ‘serious’ consortium wanting to take over the airport, which opened in 2005.

They had offered to fund the running costs of the airport while talks were held – but Peel flatly refused the offer with the bombshell news that it plans to close the airport by the end of October, making more than 800 people redundant.

Prime minister Liz Truss has since sounded the death knell by confirming that talks between the government and Peel would not continue further and that they would not invoke emergency powers under the Civil Contingencies Act to keep the airport open.

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The closure leaves the National Police Air Service with just weeks to find a new operating base for fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters that respond to emergency calls across England and Wales.

The identity of those behind the consortium has not been revealed.

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