US defence giant Lockheed Martin planning £50m space centre in Newcastle


Newcastle set for £50m space base: US defence giant Lockheed Martin plans factory and research centre in the North East


Lockheed Martin is looking to spend £50million to set up a base for its space business in the North East.

The US company, the world’s biggest defence group, is in talks in Newcastle about a project which could create up to 2,300 jobs.

It could build a factory as well as a research centre. It already has 2,000 staff in the UK and invests £1.8billion in Britain a year.

Lift off: Executives from the US company are holding talks in Newcastle about the potential project, which could create up to 2,300 jobs Lockheed Martin is looking to spend £50m to set up a new base for its space business in the North East of England. Executives from the US company are holding talks in Newcastle today about the potential project, which could create up to 2,300 jobs and unlock 'hundreds of millions of pounds' of value for the economy. Lockheed, which is the world's biggest defence group, said it could build a factory as well as a research centre in the area. The investment would more than double its UK headcount - which stands at less than 2,000 people at more than 20 sites. It estimates it already invests £1.8billion in Britain a year. Nik Smith, of Lockheed Martin UK and Europe, said: 'We are committed to make 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.'

Lift off: Executives from the US company are holding talks in Newcastle about the potential project, which could create up to 2,300 jobs

Lockheed is a major space contractor that has been involved in all 22 Nasa missions to Mars.

More than 45,000 people work in the UK’s space industry. 

Nik Smith, of Lockheed Martin UK and Europe, said: ‘We are committed to make 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.’ 

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