TRANSPORT Minister Chris Grayling who officially opened a multi-million pound development at Leeds Bradford Airport today said the government was working closely with the airport to help it secure its future, and said the next major step would be to build a railway station there.

Mr Graying was at the site for a private round table meeting with local businesses and leaders to discuss the government’s transport investment strategy.

While there he was shown the new departure lounge which has been transformed with additional seating along with new shops, cafes, restaurants, bar areas.

Three purpose-built lounges have also been created.

In March the airport opened its first off-site car park - Viking Airport Parking - while work to the terminal front has been completed with an improved meet and greet car park facility allowing customers to collect their car at the front of the terminal building.

Mr Grayling, who was paying his second visit to the airport, said: “Leeds Bradford Airport is an important global gateway to Yorkshire and this multi-million pound development will provide passengers from all over the world with an exceptional travelling experience to and from the region.

“We are working closely with Leeds Bradford Airport to ensure it has what it needs to offer greater choices for passengers, secure further international routes and deliver more investment opportunities as we leave the EU.

“The decision to allow expansion at Heathrow Airport will, I hope, in the future provide more links from Heathrow,” he added.

Mr Grayling also stated that the next important step for the airport was the commencement of the railway station to serve the facility and which has been on the cards for several years.

It is to be part funded with almost £180 million of £173.5 million of Department of Transport funding. Further funding from West Yorkshire Combined Authority and private sector stakeholders brings the cash to more than £270m.

“We do need to get a railway station for the airport but when this happens is up to Network Rail and the airport,” he added.

Mr Grayling also said bringing high speed rail to the region would bring about more opportunities for growth.

LBA chief executive David Laws added: “We have some exciting plans for the airport and want the people of our thriving region to get behind their airport to help us move forward.

“The more people use the airport the more successful we can be.”