Press Release: February 22nd 2011

Lydd Airport Action Group in “David and Goliath” battle over campaign Funding

Media attacks on LAAG’s receipt of a financial contribution from a socially responsible

Cosmetics company, Lush, fail to recognise the huge imbalance in the financial resources of the two sides disputing the fate of Lydd Airport in Kent. Opponents of the airport expansion are largely reliant on funds raised by local people, while the proponents are using a substantial amount of taxpayers’ money to finance their campaign to support the cause of a Saudi billionaire.

Commenting on press reports of Lush’s donation, Louise Barton (LAAG spokesperson) said:

“LAAG relies entirely on voluntary donations to represent the interests of local residents who are opposed to the development of Lydd Airport. Corporate support is naturally welcome but so far we’ve not attracted much of it. The majority of our funds come from ordinary people. Lush have a charitable fund which supports environmental campaigners and felt our case about the environmental damage posed by Lydd airport’s development to unique habitats at Dungeness was worthy of support. This support amounted to £10,000.”

Shepway District Council which is supporting the development, contrary to the recommendation of its own advisers, has spent £70,000 on one consultant alone and has set aside £150,000 of taxpayers’ money to conduct the Lydd airport inquiry.

LAAG has no access to the airport owner’s financial status but The Guardian wrote in 1999 that Sheikh Fahad al Athel received an estimated £3billion for his role as an intermediary in the controversial British Aerospace-Saudi government ‘Al Yamamah’ arms deal.

In funding terms this is a David and Goliath battle, attempts to smear LAAG’s modest fund-raising are ridiculous.


Peter Morris
Lydd Airport Action Group
07766 680990