Wales buys Cardiff Airport for £52m

Cardiff AirportThe Welsh government has bought Cardiff Airport in a £52 million move aimed at transforming its fortunes.

Wales First Minister Carwyn Jones announced last December that the government was looking at the airport's accounts with a view to buying it.

A three-month examination of the books concluded with the purchase of the airport by a government holding company.

"We will be directly investing approximately £52 million to acquire the assets and operations of the airport," Mr Jones said in a written statement.

"Members will understand that the timing of this announcement has been dictated by the demands of the due diligence and legal process," he added.

"It was vital that this work was carried out thoroughly and without undue pressures. I am making this announcement at the earliest opportunity allowed by the commercial process and I thought it right to inform Members straightaway."

Further details of the business case that prepared the way for the purchase will be released later.

He described the move as part of the Welsh government's commitment to developing a dynamic and forward-looking economic infrastructure for Wales.

"Cardiff Airport presents an opportunity to develop a vital facility for businesses, tourists and the public more widely. I trust that Members will support our ambition to boost the Welsh economy in this way."

News of the £52 million purchase was criticised by Conservative Byron Davies AM, the shadow minister for transport. He accused the Labour-lead government of frittering away public money on a "socialist vanity project".

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