Newcastle set to become space industry hub as leading company look to invest

A new facility creating 2,300 jobs is set to come to the North East

A global leader in space systems development is gearing up for a major investment in the North East.

Lockheed Martin is on the lookout for businesses in and around Newcastle to support its plans to develop the future of the UK's space sector.

Senior executives from the company are in Newcastle today to explore options for investment.

Those could include manufacturing, as well as research and development.

The company has noted favourable market conditions and the government's ambition to grow the sector as reasons to invest.

Ideas for progress include a brand new facility in the North East which could create up to 2,300 jobs, representing an investment of over £50 million.

Nik Smith, Lockheed Martin’s UK and Europe regional director for Space, said: "We are committed to making the UK one of the most prosperous and capable space sectors in the world.

"With its strong manufacturing heritage, highly-skilled workforce and reputation for quality, we’ve identified North East England as a strong contender for our future operations, potentially creating new high-technology engineering and manufacturing jobs for the region."

Lockheed Martin is currently working alongside the UK Space Agency and SaxaVord Space Centre in the Shetlands to conduct northern Europe’s first vertical satellite launch.

This is expected to create hundreds of jobs and inject millions of pounds into the Shetland Islands economy.

The company's UK Chief Executive, Paul Livingston said: "With operations in the UK for over 80 years, Lockheed Martin has a proud track record of supporting the UK economy and today has people based at 23 locations.

“From postal sorting technology to helping build the UK’s first commercial spaceport, our innovations and partnerships help solve some of the UK’s most complex challenges.

"We invest on average £1.8 billion in the UK each year. Increasing our investments is a key tenant of our global growth strategy and will enable us to partner with the government as it looks to achieve its vision of making the UK one of the most attractive and innovative space sectors in the world.”