Norfolk's bid to become a leader within the space industry has received a £400,000 funding boost from the UK Space Agency. 

The money has been awarded to Gravitilab, a Coltishall-based firm that is developing rockets to send into space. 

It is also behind the project to build a spaceport off the Norfolk coast, which will be used as a launch pad for its rockets. 

"The £400,000 grant from the UK Space Agency is part of an initiative to support establishing space launches from the UK," said Rob Adlard, CEO of Gravitilab. 

"This is a fantastic endorsement of Gravitilab’s technology and strategy and will support our ongoing development of the suborbital launch vehicle, ISAAC, as well as engine-testing facilities."

Eastern Daily Press: Robert Adlard, CEO of GravitilabRobert Adlard, CEO of Gravitilab (Image: Denise Bradley/Newsquest)

This funding comes weeks after Gravitilab received a £40,000 grant from Norfolk County Council, which will also be used towards the development of its ISAAC rocket.  

The company has had the support from leading business groups, MPs, and councils in its bid to make Norfolk a leading space centre in the UK. 

Mr Adlard added: "I initially began talks with the New Anglia LEP two years ago to kickstart the regional space strategy.

"The idea was to bring in more companies and grow the overall activity of the UK space industry.

"For this reason, we consider ourselves to be the catalysts for the development of the nascent space cluster in our region, which is part of a larger national project."

Gravitilab designs and creates rockets at its base at Scottow Enterprise Park near RAF Coltishall, which are used to gather data on microgravity for firms that are looking to send objects, such as satellites, into orbit. 

It currently uses a launch pad off the coast of Scotland but wants to build one in the North Sea to make it easier and more efficient to carry out testing. 

Along with encouraging investment into the region, the growth of the space industry will also create quality jobs. 

"Like any early-stage company, we are constantly looking for new talent to join our team and we have recruited specialists from all over the world, and locally," said Mr Adlard.

He added: "Looking to the future, our desire is to develop an East Anglian spaceport.

"This would create huge opportunities to grow the space industry and employment in the UK and create ease of access to facilities for customers."