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Spaceport: future in doubt as Cabinet proposes to remove some of the allocated funding

In September 2019, Cabinet approved by 6 votes to 4 the proposal to invest up to £12 million into the Spaceport project.

In November 2019, Full Council supported this proposal by 66 votes to 34 against. I voted against the proposal.

Since those meetings, Virgin Orbit has still not succeeded in launching a satellite into orbit. There must, therefore, be a question mark over whether or not the project will ever be successful.

Since the Coronavirus pandemic hit the economy, Newquay Airport at first closed for several weeks. After it reopened, flights have been few and far between. As a consequence, the airport has been running up massive losses. At the Cabinet meeting scheduled for 16 September, it is being proposed that £5.6 million be transferred from the Spaceport budget to cover the airport running cost losses for the next 18 months. This means that it is very unlikely that the Council will be able to progress the investment in Spaceport infrastructure. Whilst the Council's official position is that the Spaceport project is still going ahead, it seems difficult to see how it will happen.


September 2020

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