Discussions are underway to secure freeport status for Carlisle Lake District airport.

Carlisle City Council is supporting the bid by airport owner Stobart Group four months after commercial flights resumed for the first time in more than 25 years with Loganair serving Southend, Belfast and Dublin.

Successful freeports include customs and tax benefits and attract businesses and create jobs through liberalised planning laws.

Freeports ensure port cities and airports are ready to take full advantage of post-Brexit opportunities, including increased trade with the US and Asia the first free trade deals are signed with global partners.

Carlisle City Council chief executive Jason Gooding said: “A freeport would be a fantastic opportunity for Carlisle and the wider borderlands region.

“I’m determined to work with Carlisle Lake District airport to make this bid a success and secure the economic benefits that a freeport can offer. This can be a game-changer for our area.” 

Stobart Group head of corporate project Kate Willard said: “It was great to sit down with Jason to map-out where we go next with our freeport bid, which we are very excited and enthused about.

“It’s fantastic to have the council on board and we are hoping that more local and regional stakeholders will back our proposal as we continue to put Cumbria and the Lake District on the business map.”