in Space

Space sector set to create new jobs in Highland and Moray

Posted 18 February 2022 · Add Comment

Ambitious plans to create hundreds of high quality jobs and business opportunities by developing a North Highland and Moray ‘space cluster’ have received a £38,000 boost from the UK Space Agency.

Above: Space Hub Sutherland.
Courtesy HIE

A strategy to develop the cluster, funded by Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) and Dounreay Site Restoration Ltd (DSRL), was published last September by Caithness and North Sutherland Regeneration Partnership.

Prepared by the US-based Jacobs group with Caithness Chamber of Commerce and the UpNorth! Community Trust, the report examined the potential to capitalise on economic opportunities that will be generated by satellite launches from Space Hub Sutherland on the A’ Mhoine peninsula.

It concluded that the development of a space cluster focused on North Highland and Moray – where rocket manufacturer Orbex is based – could create 740 jobs and boost the regional economy by £56m a year by the end of the current decade.

The space agency award is part of a national £600,000 package announced on 2nd February to develop 10 UK space clusters.

Along with further support from DSRL, it will help fund new research to identify sources of investment that could drive economic opportunities through the growth of the space sector in North Highland and Moray.

Roy Kirk, HIE project director for Space Hub Sutherland, said developing a strong local space cluster will generate positive impacts for North Highland and Moray: “This really is about a partnership of businesses, public bodies and academic institutions coming together to maximise both the scale and the quality of the economic opportunity that Space Hub Sutherland can deliver for local people and businesses.

“Satellite technology already touches most people’s lives on a daily basis, covering everything from internet browsing and streaming services to GPS live sports broadcasts and weather forecasting.

“While building and launching rockets will create lots of very good jobs, we’ve always believed we can go further, and the cluster strategy demonstrates just how significant the impact could be for enterprising businesses in our region.

“A dynamic space cluster could cover a wide range of disciplines, from satellite design and manufacturing to data analysis, academic research including climate monitoring, the provision of goods and services, and other supply chain opportunities.

“This funding from UKSA and DSRL will enable us to work with our partners to start turning the strategy from a plan into reality that will deliver real benefits for current and future generations.”

Organisational excellence director at Dounreay, Josh George said: “As a partner of CNSRP, DSRL welcomes the chance to support this exciting project. We are uniquely placed with small and medium sized businesses in the area to make this initiative a real success. We expect to see substantial economic benefits as a result and I look forward to seeing how this progresses.”

Colin Baldwin, head of local growth at the UK Space Agency, said: “We are opening up space and helping companies to start and grow with support networks, funding opportunities and advice available across the country.

“With satellite launches due to take place from Space Hub Sutherland, this is an exciting time for North Highland and Moray. Developing a space cluster will significantly boost the ambitious plans already in place to grow new businesses and create jobs in the area.”

Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) is an economic and community development agency implementing Scotland's Economic Strategy across a region that covers more than half the country. With around 300 staff, HIE supports hundreds of client businesses and social enterprises; strengthens communities, particularly in fragile areas; develops growth sectors, and invests in infrastructure to create a more competitive and low carbon region.


* required field

Post a comment

Other Stories
Latest News

Serco acquires Sapienza

Serco Group plc has entered into an agreement to acquire Sapienza Group, from TP Group plc, to expand its offering to the European space sector.

Menzies Aviation renews Air Canada contract at Heathrow

Menzies Aviation today announced it has renewed a significant ground services contract with Air Canada at Heathrow Airport (LHR) and won new business at Copenhagen Airport (CPH).

Views sought to boost security of UK data centres and cloud services

Looking to strengthen security and resilience of UK’s data infrastructure to protect against outages and national security threats, the Government has announced it is seeking views on how to boost the security and resilience of

UK Government to host AFF22 onboard HMS Prince of Wales in New York

On 28th-29th September, the UK Government will host the Atlantic Future Forum (AFF22) on the aircraft carrier HMS Prince of Wales in New York, bringing together senior politicians, policymakers, military leaders, academia, business

Stay ahead of the airplane

Neil Ballinger, head of EMEA at EU Automation, looks at ways of stepping up to the challenges currently facing aerospace supply chains.

Airbus launches UK ZEDC

Airbus is strengthening its presence in the UK with the launch of a Zero Emission Development Centre (ZEDC) for hydrogen technologies, to be based in Filton, Bristol.

Future Armoured Vehicles Weapon Systems
See us at
Future Arm Vehicles Power Systems BTDVD BT2704220922Future Arm Vehicles Active Protection Systems BTFuture Armoured Vehicles Weapon Systems BTAdvanced Engin BT2504031122