L-R: Steve Double (MP for St Austell & Newquay), Linda Taylor (Leader of Cornwall Council), Melissa Thorpe (head of Spaceport Cornwall) and Kwasi Kwarteng MP (Business Secretary of State)

Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng MP was at Cornwall Airport Newquay yesterday (Feb 24) for the turf cutting ceremony of the new £5.6 million Spaceport Cornwall Centre for Space Technologies.

The facility is set to play a central role in the development of Cornwall’s space sector, with a first horizontal satellite launch expected to take place this summer.

Kwarteng said: “The Centre for Space Technologies, backed by Government funding, will be a hugely exciting asset to both Cornwall, and to the UK’s space sector as a whole. The facility will contribute to vital research and development in the field, bringing together industry and academia to exploit space to solve some of humanity’s greatest challenges.

“The Government is delighted to be able to support this fantastic site, which will bring 150 jobs to the local area while boosting Cornwall’s burgeoning space cluster.”

Spaceport Cornwall is more than just a launch facility,” added head of Spaceport Cornwall, Melissa Thorpe. “The Centre for Space Technologies is proof of our ambitions to lead the way in a global industry shift. We want to show the key role environmental intelligence can play in solving global climate challenges and the centre will be home to vital R & D in this area – fostering collaboration across industry and academia to pioneer the use of space for good.”

The facility has been jointly funded by Cornwall Council, the European Regional Development Fund and the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), through the Government’s Getting Building Fund.

LEP chair, Mark Duddridge, added: “The Business Secretary’s visit was an opportunity to showcase how we are using Government investment to drive new industries in Cornwall, not just the space economy but also our emerging tech metals mining sector which is going to be vital to the energy transition.

“The LEP has been a long-term supporter of Spaceport Cornwall in realising Cornwall and the UK’s space ambitions, and we were delighted to share progress with the Secretary of State.”