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Mayor welcomes £8m support for airport

West Midlands Mayor Andy Street says a support package of up to £8 million could be a ‘turning point’ for Birmingham Airport – as the Government also introduces plans to reduce isolation for passengers returning from abroad.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has announced that Birmingham Airport will receive the Government grant of up to £8 million, helping to protect jobs and the local economy.

The funding will be equivalent to the Business Rates that the airport would otherwise have to pay – meaning that Birmingham will pay nothing in Business Rates in 2020-21.

The funding, which will also be used to support ground handlers, comes as the Transport Secretary announced plans to reduce the time needed in self-isolation after travelling abroad. From December 15, passengers returning from overseas will be given the option of having a Coronavirus test after five days in isolation, with a negative test releasing them from the need to isolate for any longer.

Combined, the new funding and quarantine measures will give a much-needed boost to the aviation sector, which has faced a challenging year after passenger numbers severely declined during the Coronavirus pandemic.

Airports, airlines and other aviation businesses have also been able to draw on the Government’s unprecedented support, including the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and Business Interruption Loans. In total, the aviation and aerospace sectors have received over £9 billion in support.

Andy Street said: “I am pleased that Birmingham Airport will receive up to £8 million to help it protect jobs during these challenging times. The airport is an important local and regional employer, and a vital asset to the whole of the West Midlands economy.

“I have been pushing for some relaxation of the quarantine rules since they were introduced, as their impact on business travel in particular has been critical, and I’m sure the aviation sector will welcome the new testing plans.

“Along with the Government’s new testing strategy, I hope that this funding marks a real turning point for Birmingham Airport – which supports so many jobs and businesses in our community. I welcome another piece of important Government backing for a key part of our economy, but I am hoping for further support for other affected sectors.”

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