Goonhilly Earth Station (GES) says it is receiving enquiries from across the UK, Europe and the US from businesses interested in locating to its facilities since being granted Enterprise Zone status.
Chancellor George Osborne confirmed in his Autumn Statement last November that Goonhilly would become part of the Aerohub Enterprise Zone, following a bid led by the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) with Cornwall Council and Cornwall Development Company.
Enterprise Zones were created by the Government to boost business investment and job creation. They can offer reduced business rates, tax relief on investment, superfast broadband and simplified planning.
Aerohub at Cornwall Airport Newquay is now home to 16 companies employing 450 staff since it was launched four years ago by the LEP.
The addition of Goonhilly, which officially happened on April 1, cements Cornwall’s ambition to be a centre of excellence for the space and aerospace industries and creates opportunities for locally-based digital businesses to co-locate.
GES chief executive, Ian Jones, said: “Goonhilly is an inspirational place. We’ve had a great deal of interest from potential occupiers from the UK and overseas keen to make use of our world-class connectivity and the advantages that Enterprise Zone status brings.
“We hope to announce our first inward investor soon.”
Sandra Rothwell, chief executive of the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly LEP, added: “Space and aerospace have real potential to create high quality, well-paid jobs which is why we bid to extend the Enterprise Zone to Goonhilly.
“Cornwall’s digital economy is one of the fastest growing nationwide but is still held back by a lack of skills. Goonhilly could play a major role in plugging that skills gap by creating a new tech cluster with some of the best connectivity in the world.”
In January, Goonhilly was chosen as the hub for a new South West Satellite Centre of Excellence that will explore how satellite and data technologies can help businesses generate new ideas and grow new markets. The project is led by the University of Exeter and involves a wide range of partners, including nearby Falmouth University.
Earlier this month, Science Minister, Jo Johnson, reaffirmed the Government’s commitment to create a UK Spaceport as part of its ambition to see a four-fold increase in the value of the UK space sector to £40 billion a year by 2030.
Cornwall Airport Newquay is one of just a handful of locations in the UK with potential to host such a facility. It could be a base for commercial civilian space planes to deploy satellites, carry other space payloads, offer space flight experiences and carry out scientific experiments.
The Spaceport bid criteria are expected in the coming months.