Space sector

In Scotland, we have all the ingredients to make a world class offering for manufacture, space access and satellite data processing.  

We want Scotland to become a leading European space nation by delivering the full end-to-end solution for small satellite manufacture, launch and innovation in satellite data analysis, including critical earth observation and environmental data. 

Scotland’s dynamic and growing space sector focuses upon a number of high-tech, high skill and research & development intensive areas, creating a Scottish space industry estimated total income of £254m with great potential for further growth. 

Almost one fifth of all UK jobs in the space sector are based in Scotland. Our space sector is leading in small satellite manufacturingGlasgow builds more small satellites than any other place in Europe. Scotland is also the data driven capital of Europe - hosting the largest centre for informatics in Europe and more than 170 data science companies. We have leading research institutions, and this was demonstrated as Scottish skills and innovation played an important role in the development of the instruments on board the James Webb Space Telescope.

The Scottish Government considers space a key priority in our Programme for Government, National Strategy for Economic Transformation and Inward Investment Plan. We are working in partnership with industry through Space Scotland and the Scottish Space Academic Forum and together in October 2021 we published Scotland’s first Space Strategy.

The Strategy lays the foundations for the next phase of sector growth, and mobilises the whole of our space community - across the public, private and academic sectors - to realise our collective ambition of becoming Europe’s leading space nation. 

We have committed to the delivery of a dedicated launch capability by summer 2023, targeting a £4 billion share of the global space market, with 20,000 jobs in the sector by 2030. 

While this is ambitious in itself, we are further committed to reaching this goal whilst maintaining our commitments to end our contribution to global climate change by 2045. 

In Scotland, there are currently 5 spaceports in development across the country, each with its own complementary launch offering to the global space market.  

Work is on track for vertical orbital launch in 2023 from Shetland and Sutherland, with both spaceports having progressed through the planning process. Spaceport1 in the Western Isles is currently progressing through planning and is targeting suborbital launch in 2023 as well.  Plans for horizontal launch at Prestwick are progressing with the planning application expected to be submitted in the second half of 2022, and options for low altitude launch and balloon testing at Machrihanish are also progressing well.  

More information on Scotland's Space Sector as a business.


Phone: 0141 242 5916

The Scottish Government
Atlantic Quay
150 Broomielaw
G2 8LU

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