Wigan Council’s part ownership of the Manchester Airport Group has earned it another handy dividend.
The local authority has shares in what is a booming business along with the other nine Greater Manchester authorities.
The biggest windfall goes to Manchester City Council which will reap £39.3m while the other town halls, including Wigan, will collectively pocket £32.1m. The cash-strapped Wigan local authority’s share is £4.8m.
Earlier this year it used some of its 2017 airport dividend to buy back the Galleries shopping centre in the hope of breathing new life into it.
Deputy chief executive Paul McKevitt said: “The dividend from the airport is a welcome additional income for the council and helps us to support vital services and invest in larger regeneration projects.
“The acquisition of The Galleries was part funded by the latest dividend and will mean it can be regenerated after years of stagnation and decline. The purchase also includes the Makinson Arcade and Marketgate.
“Through The Deal we’re committed to supporting our local economy to grow and prosper and it’s great that being a shareholder in the airport can enable us to do this.”
The group, which runs Manchester, East Midlands and London Stansted, is two-thirds owned by the local authorities.
Manchester saw 27.9m passengers pass through its doors over a 12-month period: a rise of 6.5 per per cent on the previous year. Across the group passenger numbers increased to 58.9 million. The results for the year to March saw revenue increase 9.8 per cent to £814.3m.