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The space plan to create up to 10k jobs for Cornwall

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10:15am 7th March 2018
(Updated 10:15am 7th March 2018)

A space action plan is aiming to create up to 10 thousand jobs for Cornwall.

Pirate FM told you how the biggest satellite at Goonhilly is getting an upgrade, to help the UK to communicate with Mars and the moon.

Newquay Airport has been earmarked as a site for Britain's first spaceport and a decision is due in the next few weeks.

The Local Enterprise Partnership is behind the strategy, targeting what it calls 1,000 new upstream jobs by 2025.

That is posts in industries like manufacturing and engineering and the LEP's goal is to double that number by 2030.

On top of that, it thinks an extra 8,000 downstream roles could be created, using space-derived data to create new products and services.

Newquay Spaceport Conceptual image

The LEP reckons that by harnessing existing assets like Cornwall Airport Newquay and Goonhilly Earth Station, the Duchy's space sector in Cornwall could be worth more than £1 billion by 2030; that is over 10% of the current economy.

The Space Action Plan was unveiled at a conference at the Eden Project on March 6th, drawing in more than 100 delegates and featuring a range of industry speakers.

Delegates heard how the UK's space sector has been growing at a rate of more than 8% a year for the last decade, four times as fast at the rest of the economy.

By 2030, the global space economy is projected to be worth £400 billion annually, and the UK has set a target of securing 10% of this activity through its own Space Growth Action Plan.

Goonhilly aerial view

Tim Bagshaw, Head of Operations at the LEP, said: "Space has a huge impact on our lives, from communication and entertainment, to navigation and climate science. It will help tackle some of the biggest challenges facing mankind in decades to come, and its applications are growing fast.

"There is a tremendous opportunity to make Cornwall synonymous with the global space economy, whether that's harnessing space data for the creation of new businesses, or launching hardware and people into orbit.

"We want Cornwall to be a space industry showcase, accelerating the economy through innovation and education, and equipping people with the skills they need to be part of a global success story for the UK".

spaceport -goonhilly

The Space Action Plan has been drawn up by the LEP in partnership with Goonhilly Earth Station, the South West Satellite Applications Centre of Excellence, Spaceport Cornwall, Invest in Cornwall and Cornwall Development Company.

Space Action Plan: Aims between now and 2025

  • A Space Science Hub: this will be a space research, education and training hub focused on space science and innovation. It will address the need for specialist infrastructure, resources and services to support Cornwall's space ambitions, and build on the success of the existing South West Centre of Excellence for Satellite Applications.
  • High-tech business cluster at Goonhilly Earth Station: building on Goonhilly's international satellite communications and data centre services to become a centre of space-focused high-tech businesses, supporting 400 jobs. Goonhilly will also be the world's first commercial deep-space communications station, capable of tracking future missions to the Moon and Mars, thanks to a recently announced investment of £8.4m by the LEP to upgrade one of its antennas on site.
  • Spaceport Cornwall: a proposal to create a UK spaceport at Cornwall Airport Newquay to offer accessible, safe and low-cost horizontal launch facilities for satellite launch operations and human spaceflight from 2020, creating an estimated 480 new jobs and £25 million a year for the local economy. The outcome of a funding bid to the UK Space Agency is expected to be known by the end of March.

Goonhilly GHY-6 Antenna2

Space Action Plan: Aims between 2020 and 2030

  • Creative space applications development: Cornwall aims to be the location of choice for growing commercial ventures, scientific research and early stage technologies applying satellite data. Space already supports many of Cornwall and the UK's traditional industries such as agriculture, tourism and mining, and newer sectors such as digital, renewable energies and e-health, bringing economic value and improving quality of life.
  • The space factory of the future: Over the next decade, Cornwall has the potential to be the place where creative, innovative, advanced, and clean manufacturing of the 21st century can find a home. This will include small satellite design, build, test and launch - in and from Cornwall.
  • Space Mission Operations: The aim is to offer a capability for end-to-end space mission operations, based at Goonhilly but using a wide range of assets to service all UK spaceports, and missions from low Earth orbit to the Moon and beyond.

The LEP is now seeking feedback on the Space Action Plan before committing to a detailed plan that will be used as a prospectus to attract potential public and private investors.

This will include invitations to selected space companies, educational institutions and investors to visit Cornwall.

Comments on the Space Action Plan can be made either by email to enquiries@cioslep.com, ot on the LEP website, where a copy of the plan can be viewed.

The consultation will be open until 16th March 2018.

10:15am 7th March 2018

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