Councils ‘may sell their shares in airport’

Newcastle Airport
Newcastle Airport
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SUNDERLAND and Durham Councils are set to sell their shares in Newcastle Airport, it has been claimed.

Seven North East councils – dubbed LA7 – own 51 per cent of the airport.

Now the group of local authorities has reportedly called in accountancy firm KPMG to advise them in putting it on the market.

A spokesman for LA7 however described the reports as “market speculation”.

The deal is said to be part of efforts to meet the deadline on a £320million loan, which was taken out in December 2006 and is due to be paid back in December 2013.

The other councils involved in LA7 are Newcastle, Gateshead, Northumberland and North Tyneside and South Tyneside – which leads the group.

A spokesman on behalf of LA7 said: “We do not wish to comment on this market speculation.”

The remaining 49 per cent of the airport is owned by Copenhagen airport.