County the latest to dismiss Sunderland-led calls to rebrand Newcastle International Airport

Leaders in Northumberland have become the latest in the North East to reject calls to rebrand Newcastle International Airport to include the name Sunderland.

Friday, 9th July 2021, 6:00 am
Northumberland County Council has dismissed calls to rename Newcastle International Airport to include Sunderland.

City bosses in Newcastle have already laughed off the bid, labelling the move as “daft”.

And they have now been joined by Northumberland County Council, which was similarly dismissive of calls to “consider suitable options for renaming the airport that will best reflect the area it serves”.

“There has been a move to suggest that Newcastle airport becomes ‘Newcastle and Sunderland’ or ‘Sunderland and Newcastle’ airport,” said Glen Sanderson, leader of the county council.

“That’s something that I’m not particularly in favour of and so my own vote in this, as part of local authority holding of the airport, would be to not agree.”

Coun Sanderson was speaking at Wednesday’s meeting of the full county council, which was held in person at County Hall, in Morpeth, but also streamed online.

The North East’s seven councils – Newcastle, Sunderland, Durham, Gateshead, North Tyneside, Northumberland and South Tyneside – own a combined 51 per cent controlling stake in the airport.

Suggestions it could be rebranded were originally raised by Wearside’s opposition Liberal Democrat group, who argued Sunderland was entitled to as big a say over the transport hub as Tyneside.

Initially slammed as a “gimmick” by Sunderland’s ruling Labour bosses, a vote of the city council ended up endorsing the scheme, but instead suggested it could be renamed after a public figure, like with Liverpool’s John Lennon Airport.