Shetland Space Centre’s (SSC) plan to build and operate the UK’s only satellite launch site has been supported with a £2,050,000 investment from private equity firm, Leonne International.
The investment, which gives Leonne a 20 per cent stake in the business, will be used for future growth of the company, such as the development of the launch site and ground station at the most northerly tip of Britain – the island of Unst in Shetland.
This was identified in the Sceptre Report, an independent report commissioned for the UK Space Agency, as the optimal location in the UK for launching small satellites into space, a rapidly growing sector of the international economy.
SSC’s integrated business model creates revenues from launch, ground and tourism.
Shetland’s space economy should be seen as a unique and very valuable asset to the UK where it can support the work done by the other sector initiatives and clusters in the rapidly growing ”New Space“ economy.
SSC also has support from within the Unst and broader Shetland communities, as well as a proactive and supportive relationship with the local authority, Shetland Islands Council.
Critically, the landowner and crofting community have recognised the benefits both locally and to Scotland and the UK and have agreed to lease the required land to the project and SSC does not anticipate any major environmental issues.
SSC intends to create an international exemplar by developing a green space centre and showcasing that space and its numerous applications are a “force for good” as well as creating employment and attracting new business opportunities to Shetland in particular.
Frank Strang MBE, CEO of Shetland Space Centre, said: “We are delighted to have Leonne International as a partner in realising the benefits of space exploration for the UK, and for Shetland’s economy: bringing jobs, revitalising the economy, attracting visitors and establishing Shetland as a northern hub supporting vertical launch and ground station activity.”