TAMWORTH Regional Council has bought the BAE flying school facilities but it remained tight-lipped about the purchase price.
Council will be the landlord of the flight training facilities as Virgin Australia is expected to sign a 10-year lease to run its pilot training academy out of the newly-purchased digs.
Mayor Col Murray claimed the deal was “commercial in confidence” and couldn’t reveal the price council paid BAE for the facilities, but he did hint at a big contribution from the state government to help seal the deal.
“The acquisition price was below market value, but it is held in commercial in confidence at the moment,” Cr Murray said.
“But I’d like to assure the community it was very, very reasonable and a significantly below our formal evaluation.”
Similarly, Tamworth MP Kevin Anderson would not divulge how much the government chipped-in to buy the buildings.
“Negotiations are still under way at this point in time with Virgin and BAE exiting and we will wait until we get all the ink on the paper, we’ll wait until Virgin sign-up take the keys and take over,” Mr Anderson said.
General manager Paul Bennett said council and Virgin would finalise negotiations on Tuesday and hoped to have the contracts signed early in 2019.
He believed council would make a return on its investment within the initial 10-year lease.
“There was a very strong business case put forward and that’s how we secured the support from state government, it has to be done on the basis that it is a long-term viable business proposition,” he said.