UK Space Innovation Gets Significant Boost at Westcott

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The Satellite Applications Catapult is pleased to announce its expansion at Westcott Venture Park due to a £5.7m investment in new facilities. ‘Building 4000’ is set to house an In-Orbit Servicing and Manufacturing facility alongside the expansion of the Healthy and Agri Living Labs. These exciting initiatives will help the UK secure a 10% share of the global space market.

The £5.7m investment, funded by £2m from the Getting Building Fund (GBF) through the Buckinghamshire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and £3.7m private sector investment from PATRIZIA Hanover PUT, signals the UK’s steadfast commitment to grow its unique space ecosystem.

The new facilities in Building 4000 will include the Catapult’s recently acquired MetalFAB1 Additive Manufacturing System – the first 3D printer designed for building rocket engines to feature at Westcott. Financial barriers have traditionally made access to this sort of equipment difficult. With this flagship investment, organisations working in space-related industries will be able to build parts on a pay-as-you-go basis, which will accelerate R&D and reduce costs of production for UK space-based businesses.

For the Living Labs, Building 4000 provides a physical space for the agricultural and health sectors to collaborate, co-design and co-create solutions with technology developers. The Labs are well positioned to make use of the Catapult’s existing facilities at Westcott located close by, namely the Business Incubation Centre, Westcott Innovation Centre, and Future Networks Development Centre.

Stuart Martin, CEO at the Satellite Applications Catapult, said: “We are really pleased to be able to further expand our offering to support the growing community of space businesses at Westcott, with both cutting-edge equipment and the knowledge and expertise of our teams.

“Activity at Westcott in recent years reflects the burgeoning excitement within the space sector, with companies seeing an ever-growing range of new commercial opportunities. We are delighted to be part of this development journey and working alongside the Westcott Venture Park and Buckinghamshire LEP to build the space community here.”

Richard Harrington, CEO of Buckinghamshire Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “This new In-Orbit Servicing and Manufacturing (IOSM) facility at Westcott is a significant development towards growing the critical core of the UK Space Industry and helping develop skills and talent as part of a world class innovation campus in the heart of Buckinghamshire.

“We are delighted to support this facility, that contributes to our Enterprise Zone programme, with a £2m Getting Building Fund award for the exciting new open access 2,500 sq m centre. This project signals the next evolutionary step of the Westcott site to attract new business and investment to this globally leading centre of excellence in space propulsion.”

Rod Mordey, Westcott Asset Manager said: “We are delighted to welcome the Agri and Healthy Living Labs and In-Orbit Servicing and Manufacturing to Westcott and are soon to complete on the final letting within the building of Unit C to another healthcare sector company.

“Westcott is a place for businesses to secure their future within a community of technology innovators and in a location that offers unrivalled security and space to grow. We continue to invest in the park’s future in order to retain and attract more businesses to this thriving community.”