The Government is set to spend millions of pounds improving Cornwall Airport Newquay in preparation for the G7 Summit this summer.
The airport, which is owned by Cornwall Council, has been given £7.853m in funding from the Government.
Details of the taxpayer funding for the airport were revealed in a late report added to the agenda for a meeting of Cornwall Council this morning (Tuesday 23 March).
The money will be used to carry out upgrades needed so that aircraft carrying world leaders can land at the airport.
Improvement works will include strengthening existing taxiways and aprons and extending apron areas and ground lighting. They will be carried out by local Cornish companies.
It says: “Cornwall Airport Newquay will play a major role in this event with the arrival of political leaders from around the world.
“The existing infrastructure at the airport would not support the needs of the aircraft types that will be arriving for this event and significant works are required.
“The council has very recently received notification from the Government’s Cabinet Office that it would be providing grant funding of £7.853m to support required upgrade works at the airport in readiness for the G7 summit.”
The G7 summit will bring together leaders from around the world in June. Cornwall was chosen to host the event by Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
It will be based at the Carbis Bay Hotel where the leaders will stay and also conduct their meetings.
The Tregenna Castle will also provide accommodation for the event and international media facilities are set to be based at the National Maritime Museum in Falmouth.
Secretary of State for Transport Grant Shapps said: “This significant funding package will ensure that the right infrastructure is in place for us to welcome the world leaders to UK soil this summer.
“Looking beyond the immediate buzz generated by the G7 summit, this investment will also drive local growth for years to come by creating the UK’s first Spaceport - helping us all prosper as we look to Build Back Better and with greater aspirations following the pandemic.”
The improvements will accommodate independent arrivals and departures of larger aircraft, enabling them to maneuver and park safely around the airport, and ensure facilities are prepared to receive world leaders after they have touched down. They will also then facilitate future use by the reusable rocket-launching aircraft which will operate from the spaceport.
Glenn Caplin-Grey, Chief Executive of the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “This represents the first in what we hope will be a series of government investments that will help secure a lasting legacy for Cornwall as we prepare to host the G7.
“The airport is a vital part of our infrastructure, connecting residents and businesses alike to the rest of the UK and Europe. The upgrades made possible by this funding will help secure its future and lay the foundations for the Cornwall Spaceport, as well as encouraging investment in our cutting edge tech sector.”
Credit: Richard Whitehouse, Local Democracy Reporter