Funding from the UK Space Agency will enable the UK’s first spaceport built in Sutherland.

A proposed vertical launch spaceport in Sutherland has been awarded £2.5 million in funding by UK Government body the UK Space Agency.

The site has been selected because Scotland is the best place in the UK to reach satellite orbits with vertically launched rockets.

“As a nation of innovators and entrepreneurs, we want Britain to be the first place in mainland Europe to launch satellites as part of our modern Industrial Strategy,” said Business Secretary Greg Clark.

“The UK’s thriving space industry, research community and aerospace supply chain put the UK in a leading position to develop both vertical and horizontal launch sites.”

The UK Government is also making available a new £2 million fund to boost further horizontal launch spaceport sites across Britain.

The commercial space sector is estimated to be worth a potential £3.8 billion to the UK economy over the next decade and will support Britain’s modern Industrial Strategy by creating high-skilled jobs and boosting local economies.

The Scottish Secretary added: “The UK Government is driving the commercial space age and Scotland is leading the way.

“Scotland is uniquely positioned to pilot the UK’s commercial space sector and the UK Government recognises this potential. The opportunities are considerable, launching a new age for British industry.”