The Government has confirmed plans to invest of up to £7.8 million to improve Cornwall Airport Newquay’s facilities ahead of June’s G7 Summit.
Wide-ranging infrastructure improvements to the airport will ensure world leaders can arrive on Cornish soil to attend the G7 Summit
Investment would also assist to make the airport ready to be the UK’s first space to launches satellites planned for next year.
In additional the Government announces that the G7 Summit will be carbon neutral; offsetting any emissions and investing further in environmental programmes in Cornwall
The investment will ensure the airport can safely welcome world leaders into Cornwall for the G7 Summit in June and will have lasting benefits, including supporting the airport to become one of the UK’s first licensed spaceports.
Cornwall Airport Newquay currently plays an important role in the Duchy’s local business and tourism economies, supporting 1,100 jobs and generating £62.7m GDP per year.
Improvement works will include strengthening existing taxiways and aprons and extending apron areas and ground lighting. The work will be carried out by local Cornish companies and will leave a lasting legacy from the G7 for the Cornish economy.
These improvements will accommodate independent arrivals and departures of larger aircraft, enabling them to manoeuvre and park safely around the airport, and ensure facilities are prepared to receive world leaders after they have touched down. They will also then facilitate future use by the reusable rocket-launching aircraft which will operate from the spaceport.
The project will also create new ‘airside development zones’ with direct access to one of the longest runways in the UK, which will provide space for local Cornish businesses to set up. The investment in expanded infrastructure will offer new hangars, increased aircraft maintenance facilities, and also help develop future zero-emission aircraft; providing space for an electric aircraft testing facility.
These investments are expected to generate wider lasting benefits, such as supporting the airport’s transition to becoming the UK’s first licensed spaceport, Cornwall Spaceport. The spaceport is forecast to bring £200m to the Cornish economy by 2035. Arrangements will be in place shortly to award the funding following discussion at today’s Council meeting.
The spaceport will also create 200 direct high-skilled jobs, provide a platform for environmental research to use space technologies to monitor and combat climate change, and offer learning space to support local young people into science and engineering careers, supporting engagement with every school in Cornwall by 2022.
The airport and spaceport investment is one of the first G7 Summit legacy investments being announced by the UK Government, with further plans due to be announced to maximise the long-term benefits for Cornwall from hosting world leaders. These will include supporting environmental and ecological projects in the Duchy and showcasing its leading green research and innovation to the world.
Commenting, St Austell and Newquay’s Member of Parliament Steve Double said:
“These improvements have been something I have been working hard behind the scenes with the Government to secure and I am pleased to see this announcement today, confirming millions more in investment for Cornwall’s airport, helping us get better connected and ensuring Cornwall Airport Newquay will shine when the eyes of the world are on us in June.”
“These improvements are not just for the G7 though, and will be an amazing legacy for Cornwall, helping pave the way for Spaceport Cornwall and the investment and high paid jobs this will bring to the area and assisting out airport to bounce back from the pandemic.”
“This is more evidence from this Government that Cornwall is at the forefront of the levelling up agenda and front of the queue where it comes to building back better from COVID-19.”
Commenting, Secretary of State for Transport Grant Shapps said:
“This significant funding package will ensure that the right infrastructure is in place for us to welcome the world leaders to UK soil this summer.”
“Looking beyond the immediate buzz generated by the G7 summit, this investment will also drive local growth for years to come by creating one of the UK’s first spaceports – helping us all prosper as we look to Build Back Better and with greater aspirations following the pandemic.”