Swansea council has granted outline planning permission for the £10m Welsh International Space Academy on a 40 ha site in Swansea.
The project, which would include a space school, a visitor centre and an R&D facility, will be the first of its kind in the UK.

The scheme is being sponsored by the Welsh Development Agency, which hopes that it will attract more than £200m of public and private sector investment. The payoff for Swansea is expected to be 2000 jobs, high-quality business accommodation and 1000 homes.

The successful bidders for the first plots of land, which include a 3700 m2 office development, will be announced next month.

The total masterplan will include more than 186,000 m2 of business space, two pedestrian bridges, the preservation of the dock's heritage and the relocation and refurbishment of the city's Norwegian church.

David Rhys Williams, one of the moving forces behind the academy, is a director of NASA – and the first man to fly the Welsh flag in space.