Spaceport at Westminster

Wednesday 15 February, 13:09 Europe/London

Glasgow Prestwick Airport recently attended an event in Westminster to promote a number of industries – including aerospace – where Ayrshire has a strong offering for trade with the rest of the UK and beyond.

The Westminster event – hosted by MPs Alan Brown, Patricia Gibson, Dr Philippa Whitford, and Corri Wilson – also served as an opportunity to promote the upcoming Ayrshire Growth Deal bid, which includes funding for Glasgow Prestwick Spaceport infrastructure.

The one day event showcased organisations from life sciences, manufacturing, tourism and coastal (ports and harbours), and featured representation from some of Ayrshire’s most prestigious companies.

Glasgow Prestwick Airport was there as part of the aerospace and space contingency, along with NATS, Orbital Access, Spirit Aerospace, Ayrshire College, Woodward, Chevron, and BAE. We discussed with MPs our plans for the future, including the creation of an aerospace campus in Prestwick and our proposals to be the UK and Europe’s first spaceport.

The airport’s Spaceport Director, Richard Jenner, said:

“Glasgow Prestwick developing a spaceport in Scotland will bring huge economic benefits – up to £320m to the UK economy.

“This is before taking account of the further added value that the spaceport, our partners in the developing aerospace campus around us and wider science in technology industries in Scotland can gain from having access to Nasa research and resources.

“Presenting at this showcase was an important step in demonstrating to the UK Government and the aerospace sector that Glasgow Prestwick Airport is ready and waiting to be the UK’s first spaceport.”

A fundamental aim of the event was to gain support for the Ayrshire Growth Deal from the UK Government.

The deal, which is an exciting initiative to build on Ayrshire’s potential to boost business, jobs and prosperity in the area, is targeting over £350 million of funding from the Scottish and UK governments to develop a number of exciting projects.

Elma Murray, Chief Executive of North Ayrshire Council, gave in-depth and informative presentations throughout the day.

Elma said: “The Ayrshire Business Showcase provided an excellent platform for us to promote the Ayrshire Growth Deal to Government Ministers, MPs, Members of the House of Lords, London based business and trade bodies.

“We have had great feedback from those who attended and productive discussions with many key stakeholders, with many more to follow.

“The event allowed us to leave a clear message, that Ayrshire is a region of opportunity and ambition. We also highlighted our particular strengths in aerospace, life sciences, manufacturing, tourism and coastal sectors, which offer growth and significant productivity gains for both the Scottish and UK economies along with the ability to deliver many of the core pillars of the UK Government’s recently announced Industrial Strategy.”

“Prestwick was spotlighted as having a unique combination of attributes to establish itself as the UK’s first Spaceport – latitude, take off over the sea, meteorological conditions plus the strong cluster of aerospace companies already there means that the economic benefits from Spaceport development will be greater in Ayrshire than anywhere else in the UK.

“We remain fully committed to securing an Ayrshire Growth Deal from the UK Government that will support our industries growth ambitions and allow our region to prosper.”