RiverOak launches joint venture to reopen Manston Airport

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Manston Airport before it was closed in 2014

RiverOak Strategic Partners has taken all financial operational responsibility for the Development Consent Order (DCO) to reopen and operate Manston Airport.

Manston Airport was closed in May 2014 and since then there has been a long running local campaign to reopen it.

The site has been sold to developers but RiverOak Investment Corp attempted to acquire the site as an indemnity partner to Thanet District Council funding a compulsory purchase order.

Thanet rejected the plan in late 2015 and RiverOak has been attempting to take control of the site by a DCO, and has set up the joint venture company RiverOak Strategic Partners to assume all responsibilities for the order to reopen and operate the airport.

RiverOak Strategic Partners director, Niall Lawlor says: “We have always been aware that, without a fully independent UK operating company, it has been much tougher to convince some of our stakeholders of our genuine commitment to Manston.”

“The creation of RiverOak Strategic Partners Limited should therefore be viewed as a firm indication of our absolute and ongoing determination to revive Manston Airport as a successful and profitable airfreight hub, of national significance, with complementary passenger and engineering services.”

He adds: “We believe that we can bring a comprehensive approach to the shaping of a stronger economic future for Thanet and the wider East Kent region, creating a vibrant economic air cargo hub which delivers high quality jobs for local people and utilises the much-needed runway capacity for the South East that Manston is ready and able to provide.”

RiverOak says the new venture is not affiliated to RiverOak Investment Corp and is fully funded and resourced to accommodate all costs arising from the DCO and acquire and reinstated Manston as a fully operational airport to be operated, owned and managed independently of RiverOak Investment Corp.