Hopes of ‘credible’ bids for ailing Prestwick Airport by deadline today

Prestwick Airport.
Prestwick Airport.
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Scottish Labour said it was hopeful that “credible” offers to buy struggling Prestwick Airport and maintain passenger flights would be lodged by today’s deadline for bids.

The Scottish Government refused to say how many bidders had been invited to make detailed tenders for the debt-ridden South Ayrshire site.

But sale documents state the “preferred bidder” is expected to be selected around today, with the sale completed by about 4 October.

Glasgow Airport is understood not to have bid, but Edinburgh would not comment.

Ministers put the airport up for sale in June, six years after buying it for a token £1 to avert closure. They have since loaned it nearly £40 million. Labour transport spokesman Colin Smyth said: “There is no doubt there is interest in Prestwick, not least because the management and staff have worked round the clock to make the airport more commercially viable.

“I hope that will develop into credible bids and one that retains passenger flights because that area is a significant local employer.”

Scottish Conservatives counterpart Jamie Greene said: “The priority of the Government and any potential buyer must be to ensure the future of the airport is secured.”