It has been revealed that Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) is in talks with four potential investors to bring forward the UK’s first commercial spaceport. The LEP is leading Cornwall’s bid to establish ‘Spaceport Cornwall’ across two sites – Cornwall Airport Newquay and Goonhilly Earth Station. There can be little doubt that if this bid were to prove successful it would bring a very significant boost to Cornwall, both in terms of prestige and jobs. For more on this subject please read the bulletin below which was issued by Insider News Media today.
Roger Mundy, Managing Director, Beardsley Theobalds. 19th April 2017
LEP in talks over spaceport investment
Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) has revealed it is in talks with four potential investors to bring forward the UK’s first commercial spaceport.
The LEP is leading Cornwall’s bid to establish Spaceport Cornwall across two sites at Cornwall Airport Newquay and Goonhilly Earth Station.
The government is inviting joint bids from potential launch sites and space vehicle system operators with the aim of establishing the UK’s first commercial spaceport by 2020.
The facility would provide commercial space operators with a site to launch small satellites into orbit and offer spaceplane flights for science and tourism.
Cornwall’s bid, which will be submitted by the end of this month (April), will seek up to £10m in funding to upgrade facilities at Cornwall Airport Newquay. This would include a Spaceplane Systems Integration Facility comprising a hangar and clean rooms to cater for satellite and future flight technologies.
Sandra Rothwell, chief executive of the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly LEP, said: “Our aim is to create a high-value space cluster around our Aerohub Enterprise Zone sites at Cornwall Airport Newquay and Goonhilly Earth Station.
“With the right support, working with industry and other LEPs, we are offering an operational spaceport to the UK Space Agency in the next three years, delivering a key part of the Government’s national space policy and Industrial Strategy ambitions.”
The bid is being co-ordinated by Aerohub Enterprise Zone manager Miles Carden at Cornwall Airport Newquay. He added: “The combination of Cornwall Airport Newquay and Goonhilly is very attractive to space vehicle operators which is why there is international interest in being part of our Spaceport Cornwall bid.
“We’re building on our existing assets to offer a complete and competitive launch solution for the commercial space industry, providing low cost access to space in an industry that is expected to be worth £25bn by 2020.”
A formal expression of interest has been submitted to the government and the full Spaceport Cornwall bid will be made by the April 28 deadline.