CARLISLE'S MP hopes someone will recognise the opportunity available and invest now Carlisle Lake District Airport is up for sale. 

The call comes after the aviation and renewables group, Esken, revealed in June, on its yearly report, financial concerns with a plan to exit from 'non-core assets' to help support remaining operations, of which the Carlisle Airport is one of those 'non-core' assets.

Sources speculate that the estimated cost of the airport is around the £15m mark, similar to a previous deal that fell through with company Ettyl Limited back in 2021. 

The airport has remained closed since 2020, despite Esken's 'short to medium term strategy' to get planes back up in the air following the pandemic. 

"We had great high hopes when the airport opened but obviously the pandemic made it very difficult to continue, it's sad to see it for sale but not a big surprise.

"Looking forward, we have a new runway, a spanking new terminal, it's a great facility and a great opportunity for someone to take forward and diversify it as well as use it as an airport," John Stevenson said. 

John Stevenson, who was aboard the first flight to land on the runway from London's Southend, says the challenge, however, lies in finding a carrier that is willing to operate out of Carlisle. 

"Carlisle is a developing city, a regional capital, it's a very good facility albeit small.

"It's got room for other activities at the site, it could be utilised as a logistics hub, business park, there's a number of options available.

"What we just hope is that someone recognises the opportunity and we can re-establish the airport and rebuild the opportunities that can come from it," he said. 

Suzanne Caldwell, managing director of Cumbria Chamber of Commerce said: "I hope someone buys it, invests in it and makes a go of it this time.

"They need to be ready to spend their own and/ or other private money given the very substantial public money that has already gone into this."

In the financial report published by Esken, formerly known as Stobart Group Limited, they stated the group is already in the process of the sale of their London Southend Airport. 

According to the BBC, London Southend in Essex, was bought by Esken in 2008 for £21m.