Investor drive for first UK spaceport

Posted on 08 Nov 2017 and read 568 times
Investor drive for first UK spaceportA recent trade mission to North America, organised by the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership (www.cioslep.com), has reported strong interest from potential investors for a spaceport in Cornwall.

The LEP is leading a bid to establish a spaceport in Newquay in response to a Government drive to have a commercial launch facility in the UK by 2020.

The spaceport could offer horizontal take-off facilities for satellite launches, research missions and human space flight, with space-tracking capabilities available from Goonhilly Earth Station.

LEP chief executive Sandra Rothwell said: “We’ve got strong interest from potential spaceport operators and investors, who view Cornwall as an ideal location to access the European commercial space market.

"This isn’t a case of building a spaceport in the hope that they will come. What we are discussing is enhancing our airport facilities for specific operators and the wider supply chain, with the bulk of investment coming from private businesses.

"The wider supply-chain opportunities could include all sorts of aerospace-related activity — from jet propulsion testing to manufacturing, as well as tech companies exploring the satellite market for things like agritech and mining.”

The Government has drafted legislation to enable spaceflight from the UK by 2020. Newquay Cornwall Airport is said to be attractive to spaceport operators because it has uncongested and unrestricted airspace, one of the UK’s longest runways — and 100% business rate relief.

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