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Goonhilly to open new space age visitors' centre
9:30am Friday 28th February 2014 in News
A visitors' centre looks set to open at Goonhilly Earth Station once again now that the site is safe for the future.
Goonhilly Earth Station Ltd (GES) bought the site on a 999-year lease, completing a landmark deal with BT that allows it to work with the UK Space Agency.
It is an industry that the UK hopes to see a £40 billion annual turnover on by 2030.
Goonhilly will now be at the centre of commercial satellites, space science and deep space communications projects - and one of the first plans is to reopen a visitors' centre at the site to allow members of the public to be part of the excitement.
Visitors have been allowed on the site in the past, when it was operated as one of the largest satellite earth stations in the world before BT ended operations in 2006.
West Cornwall MP Andrew George visited the site to congratulate those behind the project.
He said: “With the 'Brian-Coxification' of space science I'm sure that the proposed visitor centre on site will become a major attraction. We wish the new companies based at Goonhilly the very best of success and we will be working with them to make sure that they get all the support they need.”
When the international space project involvement was first announced it was suggested that it could bring up to 750 new jobs.
Fifty BT staff will continue to work from Goonhilly and the arrangement with satellite operator Avanti will continue as normal.
Mr George was joined on the visit by MEP Sir Graham Watso, who pledged to continue his support for local companies, including GES Ltd, and ensure they gt full backing from the European Space Agency and the European Commission.
Mr George said: “This is fantastic news for the West Cornwall economy. Space science and satellite communications are rapidly growing sectors with great prospects. Goonhilly is brilliantly placed to take advantage in the decades ahead and to help UK plc secure a good slice of the global trade.
“If Cornwall plays its cards right and gets behind the companies which want to invest in Goonhilly, Cornwall has the real prospect of making a major contribution to the UK's satcom business growth and space research - at the cutting edge of a sector with phenomenal capacity for growth.”