Prestwick £84m satellite manufacturing site axed along with 575 jobs hope

An image of what the completed site would have looked like
An image of what the completed site would have looked like -Credit:Handout

Multi million pound plans to build a state-of-the-art satellite manufacturing site at Prestwick have been DITCHED.

Ayrshire Live can reveal how the company behind the £84m scheme has today announced a major U-turn and revealed they are now scrapping the plan.

Mangata Networks say they can no longer afford to continue with the current project, which was expected to create around 575 jobs and give the region a major economic boost.

The project was also a major component within the wider £250m Ayrshire Growth Deal.

Today’s devastating news has been met with disappointment.

In a statement, a spokesperson for Mangata Networks said: “Due to challenging global economic conditions, significant increases in material costs and issues with supply chain availability, Mangata Networks, in consultation with Scottish Enterprise, has made the decision to end the new build project for its facility in Scotland.”

Ayrshire Live told back in December 2022 how the £84 million facility would see research and development activities, alongside satellite manufacturing, contained at a site within Prestwick International Aerospace Park.

And up to 575 ‘highly skilled’ and ‘highly paid’ new jobs were supposed to be created.

The aim of the site was to produce and test more than 24 medium class satellites every three months.

And an operations centre was also part of the plan to help manage the satellite systems and global network.

At the time of the announcement deputy first minister, John Swinney, said the Mangata deal was a “huge boost for the region and for Scotland as a whole.”

A spokesperson for Scottish Enterprise said the news today was “disappointing” but their focus was now on trying to attract other companies with similar ambitions for the space sector.

The spokesperson added: “It’s testament to Scotland’s status as the most attractive location for inward investment in the UK outside of London, and our thriving space sector with a skilled workforce and growing expertise, that we initially attracted Mangata to Scotland against stiff global competition.

“The Prestwick International Aerospace Park site remains an attractive and strategically placed location. We will continue to seek out ambitious companies looking to scale by promoting Scotland’s excellent capabilities in Space and growing reputation for innovation.”

South Ayrshire Council say they are “fully committed” to the Space and Aerospace programme within the wider Ayrshire Growth Deal and “significant work” is being carried out to “define the scope and requirements of the projects” to “meet current and future needs of the aerospace sector.”

A council spokesperson added: “It’s disappointing for the Ayrshire Growth Deal that Mangata has withdrawn from its plans to build a new manufacturing facility in Prestwick.”

A spokesperson for Mangata did say, though, that their focus will now shift towards identifying and adapting existing structures “within the region” to meet their manufacturing needs, adding: “Despite this change, Mangata remains committed to maintaining its product Research and Development operations in Scotland. We are also actively considering Scotland as a potential base for our satellite and network operations.”

A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “We are aware that Mangata Networks has withdrawn from its planned project in Ayrshire due to a number of global economic and inflationary pressures.

“This decision should not detract from Scotland’s ongoing success in attracting inward investment as part of a clear and strategic approach to capitalising on our key strengths and potential. We welcome the company’s ongoing commitment to existing operations in the country – and commitment to exploring new opportunities.

“We will continue to work alongside our economic agencies and other partners in a 'Team Scotland' approach to attracting inward investment and developing the many economic opportunities to be unlocked – both in the Ayrshire region and across the country. We will also work with Ayrshire Growth Deal partners to ensure that Deal money allocated to the project continues to be used to enable the region’s aerospace sector to develop and grow.”

A UK Government spokesperson said: “While Mangata Networks’ decision is disappointing, we’re continuing to work with all partners to maximise the benefits of the 10-year Ayrshire Growth Deal which will see more than £250 million invested in Ayrshire’s economy.”

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