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A proposed vertical launch spaceport in Sutherland has been awarded £2.5m in funding by the UK Space Agency to develop a ground breaking launch site.
UK Space Agency selected the Sutherland site because Scotland is the best place in the UK to reach highly sought-after satellite orbits with vertically launched rockets.
UK Government Business Secretary Greg Clark said last week: “As a nation of innovators and entrepreneurs, we want Britain to be the first place in mainland Europe to launch satellites as part of our modern Industrial Strategy. The UK’s thriving space industry, research community and aerospace supply chain put the UK in a leading position to develop both vertical and horizontal launch sites.
This will build on our global reputation for manufacturing small satellites and help the whole country capitalise on the huge potential of the commercial space age. The UK Government is also making available a new £2m fund to boost further horizontal launch spaceport sites across Britain – such as Glasgow Prestwick”
Welcoming the announcement Scottish Secretary David Mundell said: “The commercial space sector is estimated to be worth a potential £3.8bn to the UK economy over the next decade and will support Britain’s modern Industrial Strategy by creating high-skilled jobs and boosting local economies”.
In a related press release, the International Trade Secretary said last week: “It is a remarkable if little known fact that 40% of all small satellites in orbit are manufactured in the UK, providing everyone from academic institutions to nation states with ready-made space capability.We also punch above our weight in the satcomms sector – being responsible for a truly impressive 20% share of all global satcomms and 25% share of the world’s telecommunications satellites”.