BOLTON Council could see a financial boost after bosses from Manchester Airport, in which it has a stake, struck a deal to buy Britain’s fourth busiest airport.

Manchester Airports Group (MAG) has agreed a £1.5 billion deal to buy Stansted.

MAG already owns and operates Manchester, East Midlands and Bournemouth airports but began moves to acquire Essex-based Stansted after its owner Heathrow Airport Holdings — formerly called BAA — was ordered to sell it by the Competition Commission.

MAG is owned by all 10 Greater Manchester authorities, with Manchester owning 55 per cent and the other nine councils — including Bolton — five per cent each.

Last year Bolton received a £1 million dividend from its shares, which was spent on community projects across the borough.

Although the size of each council’s shares will be reduced by the new deal, Town Hall chiefs hope the expansion will still see an increase in income for the local authority due to the sheer size of the new operation.

Bolton Council’s chief executive Sean Harriss has been advising the nine minority shareholder councils on the sale and was part of the project team behind the proposed acquisition, but added he was unable to comment further at this stage of the sale.

A popular airport for “no-frills” or budget airlines, Stansted is home to 14 carriers serving more than 150 destinations in 32 countries.

Stansted’s pre-tax profits in 2011 were £86.6 million and were estimated to be £94.2 million in 2012.