The "Beyond Launch" conference at the HALO Enterprise and Innovation Hub in Kilmarnock saw Scotland’s space industry experts present the benefits of Prestwick’s space cluster.

The event showcased the opportunities that space supply-chain activities can bring to the local economy, including the creation of thousands of new jobs.

Programme director of Prestwick Spaceport Mick O’Connor said: “The development of the space cluster at Prestwick, with the spaceport as the flagship, further advances the UK’s space industry, which is now one of the country’s fastest growing sectors.

“A huge part of this event was about engaging and enthusing the audience, bringing together supply chain partners from across Scotland to share their knowledge while alerting them to potential business and career opportunities.”

The National:

The Prestwick Spaceport project, funded through the £250 million Ayrshire Growth Deal as part of the space supply-chain network programme, is financed by the Scottish and UK governments and East, North and South Ayrshire Councils, and aims to transform Ayrshire into a world-class aerospace and space, energy, marine, manufacturing and tourism region.

Dr Natasha Nicholson, cluster manager at Space Scotland, said: “The Beyond Launch event demonstrated that the space industry is open to everyone, and needs all kinds of skills and expertise.

“Having showcased the range of possibilities to local businesses and individuals outside of the space sector, it was great to see companies supporting future space supply-chain activity, including the first commercial rocket launch from the spaceport.”

Following a keynote address from Professor David Alexander OBE, who is a Houston-based astrophysicist and director of the Rice Space Institute, conference speakers included Prestwick Airport’s commercial director Zoe Kilpatrick, director of Space Scotland and founder of AstroAgency Daniel Smith, Space Scotland’s cluster manager Dr Natasha Nicholson and South Ayrshire Council’s aerospace digital visualisation suite applications specialist Brian Ronald and aerospace supply chain specialist Gary Williamson.