Press releases > Manston Future
Manston Airport - The Future  -  29 September 2014

The acquisition of a major shareholding in Manston Airport by the Discovery Park Group should not deflect the determination of those who wish to see Manston reopened as an operating airfield says Manston`s MP, Sir Roger Gale.
 
Speaking following an early morning conversation with the Chairman of Discovery Park, Trevor Cartner, Sir Roger has said:
 
“Mr Cartner has indicated to me that his company has taken a major shareholding in the company that owns Manston with the former owner, Ms. Gloag, retaining an interest in the site. I understand that Mr. Cartner has potential clients that ‘cannot be accommodated on the former Pfizer site (Discovery Park)’  and that he wishes to locate at Manston. Mr Cartner has suggested the possibility of significant investment and the creation of ‘up to 4,000 jobs’ over a 20-year period which to me sounds remarkably like opportunist land-banking. My own position, which remains as before and which I have stated in terms to Mr. Cartner, is that I believe that it is in both the national and the local interest for Manston to remain open as an airfield, that if he wishes to pursue that route alongside airport related industries then he will have my support and that if he wishes to tear up the airfield and smother the land in industrial premises that can and should be located elsewhere in Thanet, or to assist Ms. Gloag in the realisation of her plan to  create a significant housing development , then I shall oppose his plans in the interests of those that I represent.
 
I have spoken to the Leader of Thanet Council, who I believe  remains robust in her view of the future of Manston, to indicate my own continued political support for the compulsory purchase process, I have spoken with the Leader of the (Conservative) Opposition, Bob Bayford, who is equally resolute in his view and I have also spoken with the Directors of RiverOak, the company that wishes to buy and operate the airfield,  who have told me that they remain determined in their aspiration to create an international freight hub and airport-related businesses at Manston.
 
Is the Discovery Park involvement a set-back? No. Is it an added complication? Yes, but it is a complication that has to be faced, dealt with and overcome.”

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