Open letter to Richard Branson re: ‘Space Tourism’
4 March 2021
Dear Sir Richard,
We are writing following the recent Full Council meeting of Cornwall Council on 23 February, regarding comments made by Cornwall Councillors during this meeting. We are not sure if you have been made aware of what was said, but we wanted to write to you to put the comments into perspective and make sure you knew that not everyone in Cornwall holds the views expressed.
During the meeting the current Independent Leader of Cornwall Council stated that he would be ‘taking the message to Richard Branson that the people of Cornwall wouldn't welcome Space Tourism to Cornwall.’ We are not sure who the leader of Cornwall Council thought he was speaking for when he said 'we' don't want this - certainly not us or the many people we know who would welcome this sort of investment and the jobs it would bring to Cornwall.
Cornwall has historically been at the forefront of new technological progress: Richard Trevithick’s puffing devil, the first steam engine, memorably went up Camborne Hill (and down), and this was just one part of our incredible mining heritage that saw us as a global exporter of Cornish talent around the world in past years. We have also long been an international communications hub, with the first transatlantic radio message being broadcast from Poldhu Wireless Station and received by Guglielmo Marconi in Newfoundland in 1901.
And this spirit of enterprise continues to the present day with Spaceport Cornwall set to be the UK’s first horizontal launch facility for satellites with the Government working in collaboration with Virgin Orbit. Exciting times and developments which could see Cornwall’s potential unlocked and generations of Cornish children inspired to reach for the stars.
Therefore, we wanted to take this opportunity to make clear that there are many people in Cornwall, people we are pleased to represent, that would welcome the development of space travel from Spaceport Cornwall in the future.
We see this as a great opportunity for Cornwall and the wider UK economy, for the many potential benefits it would bring to attract inward investment, create well paid jobs and great career opportunities for our young people. To truly level up Cornwall and allow us to be a contributor to the post-Brexit economy of the UK.
On behalf of the friendly, progressive and outward looking people of Cornwall we would be happy to invite you, when circumstances allow, to visit Cornwall and see for yourself the potential for your businesses to further invest in our Duchy.
Oll an gwella/all the best
Steve Double Linda Taylor Louis Gardner
Member of Parliament Leader Mayor of Newquay
St Austell and Newquay Conservative Group