Bishop's Stortford MP Julie Marson welcomes £8m Covid-19 grant for Stansted Airport
Bishop’s Stortford MP Julie Marson is claiming credit after the Government agreed an £8 million grant for Stansted Airport.
The money is the equivalent of the Uttlesford hub’s business rates bill for this year and part of £100m support for airports across the country.
Although Stansted Airport is in the Saffron Walden constituency of her Conservative colleague Kemi Badenoch, Mrs Marson said that she had raised concerns about coronavirus aid for aviation “at various Government departments” on behalf of workers in her Hertford and Stortford constituency.
She said: “I am thrilled that Stansted will receive up to £8m to help it protect the jobs of Hertford and Stortford residents during this challenging time.
“The airport is very important to our community. I want to pay tribute to all those who work at Stansted and particularly to those residents who reached out to me on this cause.
“This was something that I have pressed the Government on for many months so I’d like to thank my colleagues for being receptive to residents’ concerns and for providing this funding.
“Along with the Government’s new testing strategy, I hope that this funding marks a real turning point for Stansted, which supports so many jobs and businesses in our community.”
Mrs Marson said that airports, airlines and other aviation businesses have been able to draw on other Government support schemes, including the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and Business Interruption Loans, and that in total the aviation and aerospace sectors have received over £9 billion in support.
The Government is heralding a cut in the 14-day period passengers need to self-isolate on returning to the UK from overseas to five days, with a negative test for coronavirus, from December 15, and says it has created a Global Travel Taskforce to support the travel industry.
Earlier this month Charlie Cornish, chief executive of MAG (Manchester Airports Group), which bought Stansted at the start of 2013, lashed out at the Government’s policies and called for business rates relief.
He also called for help with policing expenses, as well as further support with employee costs and reform of passenger taxes to help UK airports win back routes lost during the pandemic.
He said that urgent Government support was needed to prevent further large-scale job losses.
MAG, which also operates Manchester and East Midlands airports, has already begun a consultation to cut up to 892 jobs after the first lockdown in March decimated its passenger base.