Technical, scientific and project delivery consultancy Jacobs has been selected to support Space Hub Sutherland, which has the potential to become the UK’s first satellite launch site.
On behalf of the Caithness and North Sutherland Regeneration Partnership, Jacobs will assess the local supply chain and produce a report on how available skills, such as advanced engineering, asset management and avionics could transfer to the space industry, including from the nuclear sector at nearby Dounreay and the defence sector in Moray. Jacobs will also examine potential socio-economic impacts in the region, conduct a gap analysis and identify further investment and actions required for a range of potential growth scenarios.
Highlands and Islands Enterprise is developing the Space Hub Sutherland project, which is the first vertical launch site to secure planning permission in the UK. The site is slated to host the Scottish-manufactured Orbex Prime low-carbon fuel rocket and could begin launching low-earth orbit communication and observation satellites as early as next year from a site on the Mhòine Peninsula.
“Our research, economic modelling and strategy planning will identify what needs to be done to create a space cluster of specialised industries in northern Scotland, supported by supply chain, local skills and talent, and infrastructure capable of sustaining its growth,” said Jacobs Critical Mission Solutions International Senior Vice President Clive White. “With estimates that the UK’s space industry will be worth $5.6 billion [€4.7bn] by 2030, this is a huge opportunity for the area with potential to create many high-value jobs. During this project, we will leverage our teams supporting NASA, where Jacobs is the largest services provider.”
“This project is important for the prosperity of the Highlands and the opportunity to reach back into Jacobs’ deep experience and capability in the space sector, plus their decades of local experience at Dounreay, is a critical competitive advantage for us,” added Space Hub Sutherland Project Director, Roy Kirk.