1. ITV Report

Snowdonia loses bid to become UK's first spaceport


Llanbedr in Snowdonia has missed out on the chance to become the UK's first spaceport. It was one of several sites in the running to launch rockets.

A peninsula on Scotland's north coast has been chosen for the site.

Vertical rocket and satellite launches are planned from the A'Mhoine peninsula in Sutherland which the UK Space Agency said would pave the way for spaceflights.

The agency said the site, between Tongue and Durness, was chosen as it is the best place in the UK to reach highly sought-after satellite orbits with vertically launched rockets.

Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) will be given £2.5 million from the UK Government to develop the spaceport which could be up and running by the early 2020s.

But the UK Government also announced a new £2 million development fund for horizontal launch spaceports across the UK at sites like Llanbedr subject to a successful business case.

The cash is aimed at boosting their sub-orbital flight, satellite launch and spaceplane ambitions.

The space agency said the spaceflight market is potentially worth £3.8 billion to the UK economy over the next decade.

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 Industrial Strategy.

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 consortium behind the Sutherland spaceport proposal includes US aerospace firm Lockheed Martin.

– Greg Clark MP, UK Business Secretary