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PHOTOS: A decision expected 'shortly' on spaceport

PHOTOS: A decision expected 'shortly' on spaceport

Published by Sarah Yeoman at 3:38pm 23rd May 2018. (Updated at 7:13am 24th May 2018)

Decision on Cornwall spaceport bid due 'shortly'

Cornwall is still waiting to hear whether it could become home to one of the UK's first spaceports.

Theresa May has promised that an announcement is due shortly, after a Cornish MP asked for support.

Steve Double, who represents St Austell and Newquay, brought it up during Prime Minister's Questions on Wednesday lunchtime.

He said: "The government has stated its ambition for the UK to have 10% of the worldwide space industry by 2030, central to achieving this is establishing our own launch capabilities within the UK through UK spaceports.

"Cornwall is keen and ready to play a significant part in this, so can my Right Honourable friend confirm that the government is committed to the establishment of UK spaceports, and will she ensure that the right people get together to deliver this in Cornwall as soon as possible?"

The Prime Minister replied: "Can I say to my Right Honourable friend that he has put in a good bid and is a good champion for Cornwall in this particular issue.

"He's absolutely right our industrial strategy does identify the role of new markets like space launch in driving growth across the United Kingdom.

Newquay Spaceport Conceptual image

"That's why we're delivering a programme to ensure small satellite companies can offer small satellite launch and sub-orbital spaceflight from UK spaceports.

"In relation to the specific issue on Newquay and Cornwall, there is strong enthusiasm for this new opportunity shown by Newquay airport, and by other locations around the UK.

"That is why in March the government brought forward the space industry act to support them, and we've made £50m available to enable those small satellite launch and sub-orbital flights from UK spaceports.

"The Space Agency is considering funding to help kick start promising projects and will be making announcements shortly."

spaceport -Newquay Airport Runway

It comes after Pirate FM told you how a funding decision on UK spaceports was due to be announced in March but was pushed back.

Officials thought a public announcement was likely to be made in early May but there is still no word of a date.

Back in April, Miles Carden, Director of Spaceport Cornwall, said: "We had anticipated a Spaceport Cornwall funding announcement this financial year but have been told it will now be a short time later.

"We remain very positive about our future plans for Spaceport Cornwall at Cornwall Airport Newquay and are reassured that an announcement will be made pretty soon.

"In the meantime, we continue to work with our investment launch partners towards realising our ambition of becoming the UK's first horizontal space launch site."

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