The Cost of Building First UK Spaceport in the Highlands May Be Soaring Seriously High

4th Oct 2021
The Cost of Building First UK Spaceport in the Highlands May Be Soaring Seriously High

It has been a long journey, but the Sutherland Spaceport, a £17.3 million project at Scotland’s A’Mhoine peninsula, is finally taking shape. They have been granted the necessary approval by the Scottish Land Court this month. Meanwhile, Highlands & Islands Enterprise (HIE) board members responsible for the £17.3 million project have mentioned significant rising costs.

UK Spaceport Construction Concerns

The recent meeting regarding the spaceport brought up how essential it was to pay attention and keep up with the UK space sector developments, including politics. Inflation could increase construction material costs for the Sutherland Spaceport.

In August, a challenge brought by the billionaire Anders Holch Povlsen company, Wildland, through which he owns thousands of acres around the site, was dismissed. Surveyors, contracted via HIE, flagged what they referred to as “greater complexity” while carrying out detailed ground investigations on the 10.4-acre sites back in June.

Detailed Design of the UK spaceport Will Be Shaped By Surveys

The ground investigations by BAM Nuttal and Arup in May have provided valuable information for the design of the Sutherland Spaceport. The team inspected the soil, rock samples, and peat from different depths all over the field.

Funding of the first UK Spaceport

The Scottish Government-funded organisation has pledged to cover £9.8 million of the cost of establishing the UK spaceport on Melness Crofters Estate leased land.

They will provide the funds through its budget and associate with other organisations, such as UKSA, contributing £2.5 million towards this project, while also seeking additional funds from the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority.

Orbex plans to use the site for regular launches of its Prime rocket into orbit. Last month, their CEO stated they were confident about meeting a launch deadline of 2022, if construction of the UK spaceport began early.

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