A Scottish project to strengthen the space industry is one of 18 schemes across the UK to benefit from a multimillion pound levelling-up boost.

The £6.5 million of new funding from the UK Space Agency includes support for locally-led schemes and space cluster development managers to help the space sector grow.

Each of the projects will harness space-enabled technology to address local priorities, such as using Earth Observation data to improve local public services and help innovative engineering companies access the UK’s growing space markets.

Space Scotland – which will receive £373,000 – will boost the Scottish space ecosystem by enabling initiatives to reduce its environmental impact and addressing workforce skills challenges.

It will also focus on leveraging new market opportunities with neighbouring and novel sectors.

Funding will help showcase UK space sector to international investors

Michelle Donelan, Secretary of State for the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology, said: “These projects will tap into the wealth of talent found in places like Cornwall and the east Midlands, as well as across Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, while using space and satellite technology to support local communities.

“This funding will help link local clusters to valuable networks of innovators and investors, showcasing the strengths of the UK space sector to international investors and levelling up the economy.”

The projects are focused on piloting local activity that could be scaled up and rolled out nationally and are being supported by the UK Space Agency’s delivery partner the Satellite Applications Catapult.

The funding follows £600,000 given to 10 space clusters across the UK last February, with some of those who received funding then getting further support this time round.

Space Scotland is based in Edinburgh. f11photo/Shutterstock.com

Part of this funding will support local areas to appoint space cluster managers: individuals who will work with local government, businesses, and academia to coordinate space activity and encourage collaboration and inward investment.

Dr Paul Bate, chief executive of the UK Space Agency, said: “Establishing a network of space clusters and high impact projects will accelerate the development of the thriving space ecosystem the UK needs to realise the full economic potential of space across the UK.

“We’ve been working with the regions to understand their strengths and the needs of their local space economies so that we can back these clusters of excellence to collaborate, grow and thrive.