Lockheed Martin, the global aerospace company involved in all 22 NASA missions to Mars, is exploring options for a new facility in the North East that could create up to 2,300 jobs. Senior executives from the company are in Newcastle today to explore options for its space business, which could potentially include manufacturing as well as research and development in the region. The investment could end up being more than £50 million.
The creation of a new facility would play a critical role in supporting the Government’s Levelling Up agenda and accelerate the UK’s national and defence space strategies by increasing the space and security capabilities available to government, commercial customers and the export market.
“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 have identified North East England as a strong contender for our future operations, potentially creating new high-technology engineering and manufacturing jobs for the region,” commented Nik Smith, Lockheed Martin’s UK and Europe regional director for Space.
Already active in the UK’s space sector, the company has partnerships with the UK Space Agency and SaxaVord Space Centre in the Shetlands to conduct northern Europe’s first vertical satellite launch.
It is also a founding member of the UK’s new national space team, Athena, which includes Serco, Inmarsat and CGI UK, who work in providing technology and services across defence, space, communications and information technology to governments, businesses, and other organisations.
“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,” added Paul Livingston, Lockheed Martin chief executive. “We invest on average £1.8bn 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.”