CAAT awarded £1m for new base

CAAT Overhead Perspective

Cornwall Air Ambulance Trust (CAAT) has been awarded almost £1 million of ERDF Convergence investment to build a new base for the charity and its helicopter at Newquay Cornwall Airport.

The investment amounts to £949,760 from Convergence with further costs for the capital project to be matched by reserved charitable funds and additional fundraising.

The development includes a 492 sq m hangar for the Cornwall Air Ambulance helicopter and 335 sq m of high quality office space, providing accommodation for both operating crews and the fundraising team.

Carleen Kelemen, director of the Convergence Partnership Office for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, said: “This ERDF Convergence investment is a great example of the growing critical mass of specialist air related businesses – both fixed wing and rotary – at Newquay Cornwall Airport. It is becoming increasingly clear that the economic impact of the airport reaches well beyond its role as a transport hub.”

Chief executive of CAAT Paula Martin said: “Strategically, this charity is growing quickly, mainly because we need to meet the costs of operating a busy air ambulance helicopter.

“Part of our forward planning is to secure an operations facility, a proper ‘home for the helicopter’ and ensure we can manage most of the key costs in the future.

“We are very pleased indeed to have secured this significant investment to help pay for something which is truly for the people of Cornwall in the future. We are also very conscious that we utilise charitable funds prudently in providing all aspects of Cornwall’s air ambulance service.”

The building will be situated on the south side of the main runway at Newquay Cornwall Airport and it is hoped work will be completed later this year, with plans for the air ambulance to be operating from the new hangar before Christmas.

Newquay Cornwall Airport’s MD Al Titterington added: “The new facility is another exciting development here at Newquay Cornwall Airport and will further strengthen the relationship between the Air Ambulance Trust and the airport.”