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Scotland’s Space Ambitions Grow as Glasgow Satellite Firm Signs Skypark Deal

David Paul

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Skypark

The move will give Glasgow-based Spire Global UK more room to grow and help launch Scotland’s space ambitions.

Nanosatellite production firm Spire Global UK has announced a pre-let deal to take up office space at Glasgow’s Skypark.

Spire Global is moving into larger premises after seeing a rapid expansion of its presence in the park over the last four years.

The ‘landmark’ deal will see the firm move from 11,200 sq. ft. premises on the site to a new purpose-built office and manufacturing facility totalling 29,511 sq. ft. on a 10-year lease.

Spire Global, which collects data from space to monitor aviation, maritime and weather patterns across the world, says it can now use the larger office space and manufacturing facility to build its workforce.

Senior Investment Manager at the international business of Federated Hermes, Stephen Ellis commented: “Skypark continues to attract high-quality and diverse names that are looking to expand, and this is further testament to the exceptional quality of Skypark’s office space which continues to develop as one of Scotland’s leading business locations.

“With ongoing improvement works, such as the recent Platinum Certification by CyclingScore on its cycling facility, Skypark has a unique offering that will continue to meet the needs of its occupiers in the years to come.”

The Scottish government has pledged support for the country’s space scene, announcing a £14.7 million investment for Spire Global to “help create more than 260 jobs in Scotland’s space sector”. 

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced the company has received one of the largest funding packages ever provided by Scottish Enterprise. 

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Commenting on the investment boost, head of global communications at Spire Global, James Pearson, said: “Scotland has become a vital part of Spire’s European growth, as Glasgow has produced more satellites than any other city in Europe, including over 100 launched from Spire.

“New funding will enable Spire to establish a stronghold in the UK and continue to design, build, test, and integrate satellites entirely within one building in Skypark, Glasgow.

“Our aim is to offer the most effective weather forecast in the world and to make Scotland a leading region in the European space sector.”

The expansion is another boon for the Scottish space sector, which has seen exponential growth over the last few years.

Edinburgh-based Skyrora completed the first successful ground rocket test in 50 years in May last year, as well as investing in a new rocket test facility, creating more than 170 new jobs in Scotland.

In December 2020, Forres-headquartered space firm Orbex also secured $24 million (£18 million) in funding to accelerate new UK space projects.

Figures from a study least by Scottish Enterprise indicated that Scotland’s space sector income could reach over £2 billion by 2030, as well as contribute data solutions to combat climate change.

Data suggested that the industry ambition is to double income to £4 billion over the next ten years and with a rate of growth of 12% year-on-year, it is on current track due to the commercial responsiveness in what is described as the ‘new space’ operating environment.

David Paul

Staff Writer, DIGIT

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