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Government plans to invest up to £7.8 million in Cornwall Airport Newquay to support G7 Summit and legacy

The Government has announced a new planned investment 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 make the airport ready for one of the UK’s first space launches
  • Government announces that G7 Summit will be carbon neutral; offsetting any emissions and investing further in environmental programmes in Cornwall

The investment will ensure the airport can 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. 

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.

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. They will be carried out by local Cornish companies.

These improvements will accommodate independent arrivals and departures of larger aircraft, enabling them to maneuver 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 benefits, such as supporting the airport's transition to becoming one of the UK's first licensed spaceports, 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. 

Corserv Group Chairman, Peter Andrew MBE said:

We’re incredibly proud that the delivery of these works and the wider G7 logistics will be a real Cornish team effort, bringing together the skills and expertise of our partners at Cormac and Cornwall Development Company, supporting local jobs and allowing as many colleagues as possible to contribute to the success of this once-in-a-lifetime event.

In addition to ensuring that world leaders can arrive for the G7 Summit in Cornwall, this investment will unlock unprecedented long-term benefits for Cornwall Airport Newquay as it emerges from the pandemic and sets a new course for a sustainable future. 

As well as improving the efficiency of aircraft ground movements through the commissioning of new aprons and taxiways, it paves the way for us to welcome the next generation of aviation and aerospace businesses, Including Project 2Zero, which will be among the first to make use of these enhanced facilities when it begins pioneering trials of electric and hybrid commuter aircraft right here in the South West under the Government’s Future Flight Challenge.

Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership, said:

“We welcome the announcement of government funding for Cornwall Airport Newquay, and news that the work will be carried out by Cornish companies - it’s important that the benefits of hosting such a prestigious event are felt across Cornwall, not only in those areas directly involved. This represents the first in what we hope will be a series of government investments that will help secure a lasting legacy for Cornwall as we prepare to host the G7.

The airport is a vital part of our infrastructure, connecting residents and businesses alike to the rest of the UK and Europe. The upgrades made possible by this funding will help secure its future and lay the foundations for the Cornwall Spaceport, as well as encouraging investment in our cutting edge tech sector.”

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