£10m state loan for struggling Prestwick Airport

THE Scottish Government is to provide an additional £10 million to a struggling airport that it bought last year for £1.

Prestwick Airport will receive a ten million pound loan from the Scottish Government. Picture: Robert Perry

Glasgow Prestwick Airport will be loaned the cash as part of the Finance Secretary John Swinney’s budget plans for next year.

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The Scottish Government took the airport into public ownership last year after owners Infratil had earmarked it for closure.

Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced a £7 million investment for repairs and improvements at Holyrood in June - but warned MSPs that it could be a long time before they see a return on the investment.

A Government spokesman confirmed that it was “investing in Glasgow Prestwick Airport to ensure that it can continue to meet all of its current financial obligations”.

He stated: “Our investment will take the form of loan funding, which will attract a market rate of interest in line with state aid rules and we expect this investment to generate a long-term return for taxpayers’ money.

“As was clearly stated at the start of this process, Scottish Government investment in Glasgow Prestwick Airport is being undertaken on a commercial basis and will help ensure the continuation of robust competition between airports in Scotland and will not be at the expense of it.”

The spokesman added: “We are clear that any investment in Glasgow Prestwick Airport will have no impact on the Team Scotland approach and our on-going efforts to support all Scottish airports’ route development aspirations.

“We are confident there is a place for Glasgow Prestwick Airport in the evolving and increasingly competitive Scottish aviation market, and are committed to making it the success we know it can be.”