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Aerospace firm Lockheed Martin ‘could bring 2300 jobs to North East’

A global aerospace firm has revealed plans that could bring a 2300-job factory to the region.

Lockheed Martin says it is “exploring options for a new facility in the North East”.

The business, which has supported NASA’s 22 missions to Mars, says the region is a “strong contender” to house the prospective plant, which it says would represent an investment of more than £50 million.

It also says the factory – which could include manufacturing and research and development operations – would bolster “the space and security capabilities available to the Government, commercial customers and the export market”, and help with Downing Street’s ‘levelling-up’ agenda.

Bosses are visiting Newcastle today (Tuesday, March 1) to assess market conditions and potential locations.

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 the North East as a strong contender for our future operations, potentially creating new high-technology engineering and manufacturing jobs for the region.”

If its regional plant came to fruition, it would join existing Lockheed Martin space operations in the UK that include a partnership with the UK Space Agency and SaxaVord Space Centre to conduct northern Europe’s first vertical satellite launch in the Shetlands.

The company is also a founding member of the UK’s new national space team Athena, which includes Serco, Inmarsat and CGI UK.

Paul Livingston, the company’s UK chief executive, added: “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.”