Scotland's Transport Secretary has said “good progress” is being made on the sale of Glasgow Prestwick Airport - now a preferred bidder for the site has been selected.

The airport was taken into public ownership in November 2013 after being purchased by the Scottish Government for £1.

A previous bid for the terminal was dropped in September last year due to the impact of coronavirus on aviation.

Appearing at the Scottish Parliament’s Rural Economy and Connectivity Committee on Wednesday, Michael Matheson said negotiations around the sale of the airport were ongoing.

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Calling for the "jewel in the crown" airport to be used more, MSP Richard Lyle asked the Transport Secretary to provide an update on the sale.

Mr Matheson said ministers had accepted the preferred bidder identified by the airport’s current operators, but said he was unable to go into the details of the bid due to commercial confidentiality of the process.

He said: “The sales negotiation due diligence process is presently ongoing.

“Therefore I’m unable to say much more because I have to respect the integrity and the confidentiality of the sales process.

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“But my understanding is that good progress is continuing to be made.”

The identity of the new bidder is yet to be confirmed publicly.

Mr Matheson said Prestwick played an important role in the regional economy and he hoped to update MSPs again in the coming months.

MSP Mike Rumbles asked about the status of loans the Scottish Government had made to the airport.

Mr Matheson said the airport would likely have closed if the loans had not been made, adding: “The negotiations which are taking place just now, between the management team and the preferred bidder, will obviously explore all of these issues.”