Second Forres Building Occupied By Expanding Space Firm
26th November 2021
The purpose built 929 square metre manufacturing facility at 5 Innovation Way is owned by park developer, Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE). It sits opposite Orbex's existing premises also located in the Enterprise Park and owned by the company.
Built in 2014 and designed by Inverness-based Threesixty Architecture the second building offers a flexible combination of office space and workshop and has solar panels and air-sourced heat pumps to reduce reliance on fossil fuels. These environmental credentials align with Orbex’s commitment to sustainability.
Orbex is developing the Orbex Prime, an innovative new low-carbon launch vehicle that will transport small satellites into Earth orbit from Space Hub Sutherland, the launch site that HIE is developing near Tongue on the A' Mhoine peninsula. The rocket is poised to become one of the most environmentally friendly orbital launch vehicles ever built, benefiting from the use of renewable, ultra-low-carbon biofuel. It is also designed to be reusable and to not leave any debris.
With the continued growth of the company, additional space is needed for the expanding workforce and for new equipment. The second building’s large double-height workshop will be used as a launch vehicle integration facility, with the first vehicle already being constructed on site.
Stuart Black, HIE’s area manager for Moray, said:"The Orbex Prime project has already led to the creation of around 100, highly skilled jobs, with the majority of them based in Moray, and we expect to see many more as the company continues to grow. We’re delighted to welcome Orbex into this second building on the Enterprise Park and look forward to continuing to work with them as they help develop the wider space sector in the Highlands and Islands."
Chris Larmour, chief executive officer at Orbex said:"This new facility will allow us to accelerate our plans to build one of the world's most advanced, low-carbon rockets, enabling us to place a new generation of small satellites into orbit. Today's news demonstrates our commitment to expanding our operations at Forres, bringing economic opportunities to the local area and putting Forres at the heart of one of the most exciting and innovative industries in the world."
This is according to the findings of the latest business panel survey undertaken by Ipsos MORI for Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) in October. More than a thousand businesses in the region were contacted for their views on topics such as financial health, priorities and concerns.
One of the UK's most challenging civil engineering projects will be paused for the next few months as winter takes hold on Cairngorm mountain estate. Teams from contractor Balfour Beatty, acting for Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE), have been busy on site since April 2021, carrying out a range of technical tasks to strengthen the 1.8km viaduct that supports the Cairngorm funicular railway.
A four-year aquaculture R&D project that will create 30 jobs has been awarded up to £5m. A four-year aquaculture research and development project has been awarded up to £5m in public sector funding.
The Barr River hydropower scheme was completed in July 2021 on a site deep in the forest, 11 miles from the village of Lochaline. Today will also mark the opening of two further community-developed facilities - a community hub and new housing.
Entries are now open for the 2022 University of the Highlands and Islands business competition. Budding entrepreneurs with a business idea are invited to apply, with £8000 in prize money up for grabs.
As part of our continued response to supporting economic recovery following the pandemic, this fund aims to stimulate an increase in regional employment for individuals aiming to move into self-employment whilst helping to support growth and resilience in young companies. The scheme can provide grant funding of up to 50% of eligible costs for capital equipment for start-up or young companies/social enterprises (less than five years old).
Sinclair Breweries, which operates the Orkney Brewery, is investing £300,000 to expand the kitchen in the brewery's visitor centre, install an on-site kegging plant and set up an improved temperature control system. A contribution of up to £99,000 has been secured from Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE).
Destination Net Zero will provide support to tourism businesses and destinations as they transition to a greener, more sustainable future. A key strand in the Scottish Government's COVID-19 Tourism Recovery Programme, the initiative includes the creation of a website offering practical advice for businesses when moving to low-carbon, an awareness-raising programme promoting net zero as good business and funding support, due to be announced later this year, for up to 250 businesses and at least two destinations to invest in carbon reduction activity.
Businesses in rural areas across Scotland are being encouraged to take part in a new Rural Business Panel survey, which gets underway this week. More than 2,700 firms are to be contacted for their views on topics such as economic confidence, business performance and optimism, as well as current concerns such as financing, increased costs, supply chain issues and labour challenges.
The investment will support the delivery of nine different projects from across the region, including new visitor facilities, services and installations at mountain resorts, as well as investment to reduce carbon impacts at key visitor sites and buildings. The financial support is being distributed by HIE on behalf of the Scottish Government, which has pledged £3.95m to help Scotland's tourism industry be greener and more sustainable.