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Highs and lows start the north’s economic week

Travel remains surprisingly buoyant but there’s another blow for small-scale manufacturing

There’s patchy economic news to start the week in the north. The good first: Liverpool’s John Lennon airport had its busiest month ever in August.

The traveller tally of 580,000 is the best since the same month in 2007 when just over 575,000 people used the airport, thanks largely to the low cost airlines easyJet and Ryanair.

Bank Holiday alone saw 568 flights take 81,000 passengers with the rate reaching 1100 an hour on the Monday morning. Staycation, what staycation? As Craig Richmond, the chief exec of Peel Airports, says: “Even we’ve been surprised by the levels of growth seen in passenger numbers. Two weeks in the sun clearly remains very important for families throughout the North West, despite the recession.”

The UK’s apology for a summer has almost certainly helped, although I’d use John Lennon just for its architecture which is second in pioneering aviation atmosphere only to Croydon, now no longer used but still worth the trip down south to enjoy. Liverpool airport has been going for 78 years and it has an excellent combination of past history and current bustle.

Bad news for Prestwich, on the Bury side of Manchester, and Delph in the old Yorkshire enclave west of the Pennines, where 100 jobs have gone at FD Kitchens after the company went bust. Administrators were called in on 23 August and 90 staff have gone from Clough sawmills in Prestwich where bespoke kitchens were made and ten from the firm’s headquarters in Delph New Road, Saddleworth.

The firm closed the Prestwich factory a month ago with initial redundancies but that was not enough to stave off insolvency. Paul Stanley from the administrators Begbies Traynor tells North West Business Insider: “FD Kitchens is a victim of the downturn in the property market. It was a successful business specialising in volume kitchen fit outs at new residential schemes. As the market has slowed down, orders have dried up and trading has became increasingly difficult.” © Guardian News & Media Limited 2011 | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds