CARLISLE'S Lake District Airport has officially changed ownership with future investment earmarked for the site, it has been confirmed. 

It is now under the control of the A.W. Jenkinson Group, one of the UK's largest providers of haulage, distribution and logistics services, after previously being run by the Esken group.  

The group's acquisition of the airport, and the buildings on lease at the site, is the result of an agreement with Cumberland Council and Esken.

In an announcement, the A.W Jenkinson Group said: "An A.W. Jenkinson Group undertaking has now assumed responsibility for Carlisle Lake District Airport from Esken, including the leased buildings on the site. 

"Following the cessation of passenger flying in March 2020 due to the impact of Covid and despite best efforts by Esken, it has not been possible to identify a commercial airline to partner with to facilitate the recommencement of commercial flying. 

"Agreement has now been reached between Cumberland Council and Esken to facilitate the change of ownership to the A.W. Jenkinson Group," a spokesperson said. 

Going forward, the airport will continue to function as an aerodrome with at least a '£5m investment' being put forward for the site. 

"The site will continue to operate as an aerodrome and it is intended that, subject to planning permission, at least £5m of investment will be made into the site, creating quality sustainable jobs and providing the site with a long-term economic purpose, which also addresses the grant previously received by the airport pre-Covid," a spokesperson said. 

The Esken group ( formerly known as Stobart Group Limited), who previously had ambitions to get planes back at the airfield which had been dormant since 2020, entered administration in March after a planned restructuring strategy, deemed no longer 'commercially viable', was abandoned to 'protect the interests of stakeholders'. 

The decision followed a dispute regarding an early loan repayment of over £190m over alleged agreement breaches regarding London Southend Airport (LSA). 

Former airport bosses had plans to sell Carlisle airport back in February as the firm sought to wind down from its 'non-core assets'