Balfour Beatty has bought Blackpool International Airport from Northern Ireland’s Mar Properties for £14m.

In a stock exchange announcement this morning it said that its airport investment and development arm Regional and City Airports would buy 95% of the airport for £14m in cash.

The airport is one mile south of Blackpool Town Centre and it is the base for air carriers such as Jet2.com, Ryanair and Manx2.com. The airport is forecast to handle about 500,000 passengers in 2008, flying 12 routes to the UK, Ireland, Isle of Man and mainland European destinations.

Mar Properties is headed by Adam Armstrong and the deal is subject to approval from the 5% minority shareholder Blackpool Borough Council.

Airport of choice

Balfour Beatty chief executive Ian Tyler, said: 'Blackpool International is a well-located airport with the potential to become a thriving international gateway to Lancashire and Cumbria. We will work together with the airlines and our local partners to help increase its penetration within this core catchment area and to play its part in attracting inbound visitors to the region.

‘We believe that our approach will deliver significant, sustained growth in passenger traffic at the airport and will generate important economic benefits for it and for Blackpool. Our aim is to develop Blackpool to be the airport of choice for residents, businesses and visitors of Lancashire and Cumbria.'

Balfour Beatty Capital is an experienced investor in infrastructure, having raised more than £7bn of funding for its 30 privately-financed projects in which it has over £250m of committed and invested equity.

The council is expected to approve the deal by the end of the week.