HIE is Working on a Reviewed Business Case for Space Hub Sutherland

3rd Nov 2020
Spacehub Sutherland

The £17 million bid for the construction of Space Hub Sutherland is currently being finalised by the local authorities. This vertical launch site has apparently great economic potential for the area, which is why over half of this sum is funded by the local budget. The UK Space Agency and Nuclear Decommissioning Agency are sponsoring the rest.

Space Hub Sutherland Construction Plans

Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) had announced plans for a vertical spaceport construction on the A’Mhoine peninsula two years ago. This summer, the facility was granted approval. Local authorities see Space Hub Sutherland as a strategic national project. The spaceport should create 61 new job opportunities in the area and 250 more in the region. 

The construction bid for the facility is £17.3 million. Almost £10 million of this has been funded by the Scottish budget. The UK Space Agency is funding £2.5 million, and £5 million has been granted by the Nuclear Decommissioning Agency (NDA).

The first vertical rocket launch from the site is expected in the early 2020s, and eventually this facility should execute up to 12 launches a year. Right now, HIE is preparing a revised version of the Space Hub Sutherland business case. The updated version of the document should take into account recent market developments. 

In turn, the Scottish government is reviewing other spaceport facilities and their potential customers. HIE is waiting for confirmation that Sutherland remains a national strategic project. Company management believes that this spaceport facility is vital for the local economy and should play a key part in the UK space sector’s growth. 

HIE spokesman emphasises that this project was granted approval in principle back in 2018. Now, the company is preparing another detailed business case for the local government. This case should be ready in the coming months.

With the reviewed version of Space Hub Sutherland business case, HIE is focusing on the overall development of the UK space sector. As the development agency, they see their mission in analyzing up-to-date information on how the local and international space sector is developing. 

However, HIE is not the only developer working on spaceports. More organizations are preparing spaceport proposals in the area. Aside from Space Hub Sutherland, developers are making plans for both vertical and horizontal launch sites in the Western Isles, Machrihanish and the Shetland Isles.

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