Sutherland Spaceport construction facing new difficulties4th Dec 2023
The Sutherland Spaceport on the West Coast of Scotland was originally the favoured site for the British government’s space ambitions and as such has received significant funding from the UK Space Agency.
The Spaceport project is being led by Danish/German company, Orbital Express Launch (Orbex), initially supported by US defence giant, Lockheed Martin, who have since walked away from the project despite receiving grants worth millions from the UK Government.
A source has informed us that amongst the many hurdles faced by the site, contractor vehicles have become trapped in the peat bog, upon which the launch site is being built. There have also been suggestions that the project has potentially run out of funding that could be used for day to day operations.
Previously we reported that Orbex had borrowed £675,000 from Highlands and Islands Enterprise to assist with day to day operational costs. Read about our previous report on this.
It has also been rumoured that an alternative route may be required in order to transport anything to the potential launch site. This could mean a very significant delay in the site being operational and may even require a new planning application or variation to the original submission.
This is yet another blow for the UK’s space ambitions, and another potential delay in the race to become first to launch.