North Uist In Race To Open UK’s First Spaceport

Wednesday June 12th, 2019

North Uist is set to enter the space age as a project to create the UK’s first ever vertical launch commercial spaceport is unveiled.Government Opportunities

The consortium behind the Spaceport 1 project, which includes major players in the UK and international space sector and is led by Comhairle nan Eilean Siar (Western Isles Council), is proposing to build a new Spaceport at Scolpaig on the north-west coast of North Uist.

Comhairle nan Eilean Siar has agreed to invest around £1 million to purchase the land where the launch facility will be constructed. From this base, rockets will be launched vertically, offering low-cost, safe and efficient access to sun synchronous and polar orbits. In a unique partnership with QinetiQ, who operate the nearby MOD Hebrides Range, the project will benefit from proven launch vehicle technology, existing intelligent systems and access to the largest area of segregated airspace in Europe.

Roddie Mackay, Leader of Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, said: “This is a critical strategic investment for the Comhairle and the North Uist community. The economic benefits that would flow from this project are immense and we are delighted to offer it our full backing.

When it comes to fruition the proposal will create between 50 and 70 jobs and a range of wider and longer term economic benefits.”

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