ALMOST 600 new jobs are to be created in Prestwick as a result of an American satellite company establishing itself in the area.

Mangata Networks, a satellite-enabled cloud services company, has chosen Prestwick as the location for its research and development activities, as well as satellite manufacturing, space systems and core network operations.

Over the next few years, up to 575 new jobs will be created – with other jobs supported indirectly - as part of Mangata’s state-of-the-art engineering and operations hub for satellite manufacturing and operations. 

The hub will be built at the Prestwick International Aerospace Park, as part of the Ayrshire Growth Deal.

The hub is supported by an innovative funding and assistance package from public sector partners, totalling over £83.7 million from Scottish Enterprise, Scottish Government, UK Government and South Ayrshire Council.

This funding comprises £54.5 million from Scottish Enterprise and £29.2 million from the Ayrshire Growth Deal provided on commercial terms that will see this funding repaid over the next 15 years.

The Ayrshire Growth Deal is a partnership being driven forward by the Scottish Government, the UK Government and East, North and South Ayrshire Councils.

The Deal presents a major opportunity to strengthen the Ayrshire, Scottish and UK economies.

Targeted co-ordinated investment throughout the region will act as a powerful catalyst to stimulate growth, resulting in increased job opportunities and prosperity for Ayrshire, for Scotland and for the UK as a whole.

On behalf of the Ayrshire Growth Deal, South Ayrshire Council has been working alongside Scottish Enterprise and Scottish Development International to secure the Mangata deal, which will have a hugely positive impact on the Ayrshire and Scottish economies and play a key role in establishing a global space cluster at Prestwick.

Mangata’s new facility will produce and test more than 24 medium class satellites every three months. 

The facility is capable of qualifying, integrating and testing satellites up to 1500kg in size for the space and launch environments. 

From this engineering hub, the company will establish an operations centre that will manage its satellite systems and global network.

Many of the new jobs will be highly paid, highly skilled technical engineering positions in product development, designing and manufacturing satellites, and operating the system end-to-end.

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Construction will begin in early 2023 with manufacturing and operations teams set to move in from late 2024.

Initially, up to 50 employees will operate from temporary accommodation at the University of the West of Scotland Ayr Campus.

Leader of South Ayrshire Council, Martin Dowey commented: “We are delighted Mangata have chosen to locate in Prestwick and have great pleasure in welcoming them to South Ayrshire.

"We very much look forward to working with them and seeing the many benefits they’ll bring to our local communities, beginning with hundreds of jobs.

“This really is fantastic news as Mangata is exactly the kind of company we want to attract to South Ayrshire.

"The global satellite market is booming, and we aim to be right at the centre of that with a vibrant and thriving space sector.

"This will create high value jobs and exciting future careers for our young people, particularly in STEM-related opportunities, but also in wider support roles.

“The Council has now secured approval for a significant investment programme to deliver commercial workspace at Prestwick.

"This comprehensive and bold approach gives companies like Mangata the confidence that we can build Prestwick as a global space cluster.

“We are already anticipating the first satellite launches from Prestwick Spaceport from spring 2024 and through our highly ambitious space programme are set to become Europe’s premier space hub.”

Deputy First Minister of Scotland, John Swinney said: “The fact that Mangata has chosen to base its new satellite manufacturing facility in Ayrshire is a huge boost for the region, for the space and manufacturing sectors, and for Scotland as a whole.

“As well as the substantial, high-skilled job opportunities, this will open up new pathways for the satellite manufacturing supply chain and help position Scotland as a leading centre for space and manufacturing innovation – while supporting the aims of our space strategy.”

Brian Holz, Chief Executive Officer of Mangata Networks, commented: “Scotland, Ayrshire, the local regions, and the UK have expressed a lot of confidence in our system and mission. 

"We are very grateful to be able to locate Mangata’s core product development, satellite manufacturing, and network operations teams in a state-of-the-art facility in Prestwick.  

“We will be using this facility to bring our satellite connectivity and intelligent Edge compute solutions to enterprises globally. 

"Today, our customer base has already committed to over 1.5 Tbps pre-launch, nearing full capacity of our initial 32 satellites. 

"As the business grows, Mangata’s network can scale to over 750 satellites.

"This factory will be a key enabler, allowing us to scale and deliver cost-effective space technology into markets that really need it.”