The £2.6 million project to harden the grass runways at Land’s End Airport will get underway next month now that £1.3 million of support from the European Regional Development Fund has been confirmed.

The Isles of Scilly Steamship Company said it would press ahead with the work now before the summer peak season rather than wait until the autumn and risk bad weather affecting the project or causing travel disruption.

It means that Land’s End Airport will close for a short period from Friday 4th July to Sunday 20th July inclusive, with normal services resuming from Monday 21st July. All Skybus services scheduled to operate to/from Land’s End Airport during that time will be routed instead through Newquay Cornwall Airport. All affected passengers are being informed and offered alternative travel arrangements that will minimise inconvenience.

The Land’s End runway works are part of a broader strategic programme of investment worth a total of £9 million that also includes upgrades to the Isles of Scilly Airport on St Mary’s. The project is designed to strengthen lifeline air links to the islands, especially during poor weather.

Rob Goldsmith, Chief Executive of the Isles of Scilly Steamship Group, which owns Land’s End Airport, said: “This is excellent news for islanders and visitors who have suffered some severe disruption to and from Land’s End Airport during the extreme weather of the last two winters. There will unfortunately be some short-term disruption for which we apologise, but the works will make the air route significantly more robust in the future.”

Andrew May, Chairman of Isles of Scilly Steamship Group, said: “We are delighted that this long-awaited project can now proceed and it further demonstrates the ongoing commitment from the Company in the provision of reliable, lifeline services to and from the Isles of Scilly. As well as hardening the main runways at Land’s End we are investing in new lighting, approach aids and drainage works. Coupled with big improvements already underway at St Mary’s, this will be a big boost to air travel to the islands.”

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