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UK rocket company Orbex wins £3.3m more funding to build green launch platform in Scottish highlands

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UK rocket company Orbex wins £3.3m more funding to build green launch platform in Scottish highlands By Proactive Investors

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Published Dec 13, 2023 11:45
Updated Dec 13, 2023 12:10

© Reuters. UK rocket company Orbex wins £3.3m more funding to build green launch platform in Scottish highlands

Proactive Investors – Orbex, a UK rocket launch services company, has won £3.3 million of funding from the UK Space Agency, which it plans to use in the development of its carbon-neutral vertical launch site on the northern coast of Scotland.

Based further down the east coast in Forres, near Inverness, the company is also developing a low-emission rocket.

Construction began in May of the Ultra-Green Launch Complex at Sutherland Spaceport, where the company has a 50-year lease from the local crofting community and aims for up to 12 orbital rocket launches per year carrying satellites into orbit.

Orbex chief executive Martin Coates said the funding is “not only very welcome [but also] further validation of our commitment to delivering low-carbon, high-performance space launch services in a way that respects the environment”.

It was stated in the summer that £3 million of funding will be provided for Orbex by the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority following the decommissioning of the nearby Dounreay nuclear power station, joining £9 million from Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) and the Scottish Government and another £2.55 million from the UK Space Agency.

The UK Space Agency’s director of launch, Matt Archer, said the funding “will help Orbex to develop the launch site at Sutherland Spaceport, enhancing our launch capability, creating high skilled jobs, and supporting the government’s vision for the UK to be Europe’s most attractive launch destination by 2030”.

Orbex has secured won more than a dozen R&D contracts, at least seven commercial launch contracts and in the summer struck an agreement with European launch giant Arianespace to work on potential future collaborations.

As well as the UKSA, HIE and the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, the company raised £40 million just over a year ago, including fromthe Scottish National Investment Bank, UK venture capital funds BGF and Octopus Ventures, European venture capital funds Heartcore Capital and High-Tech Gründerfonds, as well as strategic investors Elecnor, parent company of Deimos Space, and Jacobs, which is helping oversee construction of the Sutherland site.

Read more on Proactive Investors UK

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UK rocket company Orbex wins £3.3m more funding to build green launch platform in Scottish highlands

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