Could Norfolk be about to get a spaceport - almost 50 years after plans for one at Brancaster were ditched?

Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo flies over Mojave, California. Could Norfolk host a spaceport for Richard Branson's intergalactic trips? Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo flies over Mojave, California. Could Norfolk host a spaceport for Richard Branson's intergalactic trips?

Monday, July 14, 2014
2:57 PM

A list of eight possible locations across the UK for the first British spaceport will be announced this week at the Farnborough air show, with speculation that one of the sites could be in Norfolk.

To send a link to this page to a friend, you must be logged in.

Representatives from the UK Space Agency will join government ministers to reveal the potential locations for a dedicated spaceport which they hope will be ready by 2018.

As part of ambitious plans the government aims to capture 10pc of the world’s space market by 2030, citing figures that the UK sector has grown by just over 7pc in the past two years, making it worth £11 billion and employing 34,000 people.

Business Secretary Vince Cable, who will join representatives from the Department for Transport in making the announcement on Tuesday, said the UK space sector is booming.

“This week we will announce the next steps for this country’s space race and how we will take one giant leap towards creating the first British spaceport, making space travel one step closer for all,” he said.

While none of the eight locations have been officially named, the Observer newspaper speculated that, along with Lossiemouth in Scotland, Bristol and the Outer Hebrides, Norfolk could be in the frame.

In the 1960s, when Britain had its own space programme, Brancaster in North Norfolk was on a shortlist of three possible launchpad sites.

However, there were fears that stages falling from rockets after launch stood a chance, albeit a small one, of hitting oil rigs in the North Sea.

Britain’s space programme, which included rockets such as Black Arrow, Black Knight and Blue Streak, was instead switched to Australia until the launcher project was axed in 1972.

While an announcement of the locations will not be made until Tuesday, chief secretary to the treasurer, Danny Alexander talked up the possibility of Scotland featuring in the announcement.

He told the BBC: “The UK space industry is one of our great success stories and I am sure there will be a role for Scotland to play in the future.”

And the Mail on Sunday, which claims to have learned the eight locations, says six of the potential locations are in Scotland, with the other two in Wales and Cornwall.

The government has said a spaceport would open up the UK tourism industry to specialist operators like Virgin Galactic and XCor, and predicted the sector could be worth £40bn and provide 100,000 jobs if the 2030 target is met.

18 comments

  • 'NO' is the short answer.

    Add your comment | Report this comment

    backwoodsman

    Thursday, July 17, 2014

  • "Intergalactic" trips? Wow! Richard Branson is slightly ahead of NASA, then...

    Add your comment | Report this comment

    GW

    Tuesday, July 15, 2014

  • Forget the flying pigs and watch out for the geese!

    Add your comment | Report this comment

    Norfolk John

    Monday, July 14, 2014

  • Flying pigs spring to mind.

    Add your comment | Report this comment

    gerry mitson

    Monday, July 14, 2014

  • What Norfolk must do is call for a referendum to separate from the UK, and then it will money and subsidies showered on it by central government. At the moment I doubt anybody in Westminster knows where we are...and cares even less

    Add your comment | Report this comment

    weaversway

    Monday, July 14, 2014

  • Whatever it is, it will go North of the Border as they are getting all the 'sweeteners' at the moment.

    Add your comment | Report this comment

    Bruce87

    Monday, July 14, 2014

  • Funny there's a bus stop outside my house bus runs on the half hour .

    Add your comment | Report this comment

    mayfly

    Monday, July 14, 2014

  • As DaveG says the areas to be considered are Lossimouth. The other five Scottish locations are thought to be Kinloss Barracks, RAF Leuchars, Campbeltown, Glasgow Prestwick and the Outer Hebrides island of Stornaway. Newquay in Cornwall and Llanbedr in Wales are the only two sites outside of Scotland expected to make the list. Maybe Grimmer should be telling us where he got his information from, or failing that consider a new career ?

    Add your comment | Report this comment

    "V"

    Sunday, July 13, 2014

  • Some hope, we haven't even got a decent airport yet! If it does happen, don't let the same company run it.... who knows how much the Spaceport Development Fee might be!

    Add your comment | Report this comment

    IT Man

    Sunday, July 13, 2014

  • Pie in the sky, frankly.

    Add your comment | Report this comment

    Anglianjacky

    Sunday, July 13, 2014

  • DJ, it makes people who are already rich even richer by people who are stinking rich themselves.

    Add your comment | Report this comment

    Ar ya reet boi?

    Sunday, July 13, 2014

  • Come on Archant, catch up. List is on BBC website, 6 in Scotland, 1 in wales and 1 in Cornwall. None in East Anglia as this would mean government investment in the area, and we can't be having that can we.

    Add your comment | Report this comment

    DaveG

    Sunday, July 13, 2014

  • My understanding is that the old base near Watton is being looked at, rather than Brancaster. Then there's already two very large runways at Lakenheath & Mildenhall and plenty of space available.

    Add your comment | Report this comment

    nathanp

    Sunday, July 13, 2014

  • I would have thought the whole of the UK is an undesirable location for launching anything into space - the weather is too unreliable.

    Add your comment | Report this comment

    lockers

    Sunday, July 13, 2014

  • Yes bring it to Norfolk and send some of those aliens back, after all we have plenty, don't we?

    Add your comment | Report this comment

    Vic Sponge

    Sunday, July 13, 2014

  • What a load of old squit. You can't get a bus to Brancaster let alone a spaceship!

    Add your comment | Report this comment

    ThePresence

    Sunday, July 13, 2014

  • Why? Why do we waste money flying to space? What does it achieve, what good does it do?

    Add your comment | Report this comment

    DJ

    Sunday, July 13, 2014

  • What another load of EDP rubbish. Reading the article there is nothing anywhere near the east. It is either in Scotland or two on the west coast. Why are you pedalling rubbish EDP ?

    Add your comment | Report this comment

    "V"

    Sunday, July 13, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Norfolk Weather

Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 9°C

min temp: 10°C

Five-day forecast

loading...

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT