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£30 million project brings the next frontier of space tech to Westcott

The creation of five new specialist centres are being celebrated today

Published by Mix96 News at 2:03pm 2nd October 2018. (Updated at 3:02pm 2nd October 2018) 3-minute read.

£30 million project brings the next frontier of space tech to Westcott

A £30 million project taking the next 'giant leap' in the UK's space technology is being celebrated just outside Waddesdon today (2/10).

Westcott Space Cluster, based at the Venture Park, already hosts several hi-tech companies involved in the sector and is a historic location for UK space activity.

In the 1950s it was the centre of UK nuclear missile testing. The British aero manufacturer Bristol Siddeley used the site to test rocket engines for nuclear bombs, and the famous Blue Streak rocket engine, which was built to maintain a UK nuclear deterrent, was tested there.

The site, located within the Aylesbury Vale Enterprise Zone, is already home to NAMMO, European Astrotech, Airborne Engineering and Surrey Satellites, and is involved in testing autonomous vehicles and drones. 

But today's event celebrates the creation of five new facilities, namely:

  • The Reaction Engines SABRE Test Facility (TF1) - a new engine test facility under construction to demonstrate and test the revolutionary SABRE engine core. Reaction Engines has recently announced a £26.5M strategic and financial investment including backing from global aerospace companies Boeing HorizonX Ventures and Rolls Royce, a great example of inward investment in the UK space sector.
  • The Westcott Business Incubation Centre - offers specialised business and technical support for up to 20 early-stage businesses working in the areas of rocket propulsion, 5G communications and autonomous systems, and recently signed up its first two businesses. This Centre is supported by the European Regional Development Fund, Rockspring, Buckinghamshire Thames Valley Local Enterprise Partnership (BTVLEP) and the Satellite Applications Catapult.
  • The Westcott 5G Step-Out Centre - a unique 5G facility to test and develop new services and products by accessing the latest wireless applications service equipment and satellite data without the need to invest in expensive infrastructure. 5G will be a key enabler of the future digital world, helping support new vertical markets such as healthcare, automation and entertainment. This facility will be key to unlocking its potential for the UK economy.
  • The UK Space Agency's National Space Test Propulsion Facility - a £4M government investment giving the UK a brand-new facility for space technology testing. This site is scheduled to be complete late 2019.
  • The Westcott Innovation Centre - providing networking and office facilities to foster innovation and growth. This centre is anticipated to be completed in 2019.


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