Following years of campaigning by local Councillors and Cornwall Council, Newquay looks like it will be launching satellites by 2021 following a deal signed with space operator Virgin Orbit. The deal will also provide a focus, along with the Aerohub and Goonhilly Ground Station, for thousands of highly skilled new jobs in Cornwall as part of the UK’s growing space industry.
Local Liberal Democrats have been leading the campaign for Newquay to become a spaceport since 2014 when Newquay’s then Lib Dem MP Stephen Gilbert launched the campaign. Since then local Newquay Lib Dem Councillors, Steven Daniell, Joanna Kenny and Geoff Brown have been calling for the investment in the Spaceport.
Newquay Town Councillor Steven Daniell said: “This is great news and a great partnership and the jobs that will come with this will be a fantastic opportunity for our young people.”
The UK Space Agency has welcomed the announcement but details of possible government funding have yet to be announced. Cornwall Councillor Joanna Kenny said “It is a shame that the Government is still delaying announcing funding, but now we have an viable space operator signed up, Newquay should be at the front of the queue for the £50m that is potentially available."
The Lib Dem Leader of Cornwall Council Adam Paynter said: “ This is a game-changing partnership that will inspire a generation and create a new industry in Cornwall. We look forward to welcoming Virgin Orbit to Cornwall and working with the Government to fully realise the potential that this deal has created.”