Holyrood launches Scottish Space Strategy for growth

Holyrood launches Scottish Space Strategy for growth

Announced yesterday, it involves collaboration between the Scottish Government and its enterprise agencies, industry group Space Scotland and the Scottish Space Academic Forum.

Scottish Space Strategy

Holyrood launches Scottish Space Strategy for growthThe Scottish Space Strategy involves plans to develop a network of satellite launch sites, pursue green technologies and build on existing strengths in data analysis and research.

Specifically, it aims to establish a range of managed launch and orbital services, to support the largest launch capability in Europe. There will also be an environmental angle in reducing emissions by supporting the use of satellite data for environmental monitoring.

Concerning Scotland, and planning for space, the strategy itself was launched, virtually, at Expo 2020 Dubai.

“Our aims are clear – we want to achieve a £4 billion share of the global space market, deliver a dedicated launch capability as early as next year and create 20,000 jobs in the sector by 2030. We will broaden the diversity of the sector, increase its sustainability, exports and inward investment, and enhance education to inspire the next generation of space industry workers,” said Ivan McKee MSP, the Scottish Government’s Minister for Business, Trade, Tourism and Enterprise.

“The potential for the sector is enormous,” he added.

You can view the strategy document online, on the Scottish Space website.


Scotland has a geographic advantage when it comes to the position of UK spaceports.

The UK Space Agency currently recognises seven such official centres. Five are in Scotland, one in Wales and one in England.

They are: Spaceport 1 (Scolpaig Farm, North Uist,Outer Hebrides, Scotland), Spaceport Machrihanish (Campbeltown, Argyll, Scotland), Prestwick Spaceport (Prestwick, South Ayrshire, Scotland), Space Hub Sutherland (A’ Mhòine peninsula, Sutherland, Scotland), Shetland Space Centre (Lamba Ness, Unst, Shetland Islands, pictured), Spaceport Snowdonia (Llanbedr, Gwynedd, Wales) and Spaceport Cornwall (Cornwall Airport, Newquay, England).

“This strategy sets out a framework for growth, making Scotland an end-to-end space system provider for the rapidly expanding global market,” said Chair of Space Scotland, Craig Clark. “We have a young, dynamic community of space companies in Scotland and are ready to take the Scottish space sector to the next level.”

UK Space Strategy

Last month, the UK government in Westminster published the UK’s first National Space Strategy.

A joint initiative by the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and the Ministry of Defence, it’s intended to outline a “national vision” to grow the UK’s space sector.

Actions it outlined included space businesses gaining access to private finance through space-oriented venture capital funds, a commitment to R&D programmes, supportive “modern” space regulation and the intention to “collaborate internationally with our partners and allies”, including maintaining the UK’s role in the European Space Agency.

See also: Glasgow Prestwick Spaceport signs Astraius for horizontal launches

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