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Bristol’s iCOMAT secures £4.8 million investment to lead UK space infrastructure project

Bristol-based composites firm iCOMAT has secured £4.8 million worth of funding from the UK Space Agency to form a new local cluster of research & development and production facilities.

iCOMAT, a spin-out company from the University of Bristol, backed by the Natwest Accelerator programme, provides state-of-the-art, patented lightweighting solutions through pioneering technology across the aerospace, automotive and the space industry.

The funding comes as part of a wider £50 million investment round from the UK Space Agency to back the development of space research, manufacturing and testing facilities across the UK, create new jobs and enhance the UK’s offering of space capabilities and services to international investors.

iCOMAT is one of 12 successful applications throughout the UK.

In the South West, iCOMAT will utilise its funding to form a new local cluster of research & development and production facilities, creating exciting new job opportunities, attracting world-class talent to the region and increasing accessibility of materials to businesses in the market.

Once fully operational, the creation of the new facilities are anticipated to bring in an additional 60 roles to the region.

NatWest’s Accelerator programme supports and empowers entrepreneurs across the South West, offering one-to-one coaching, a programme of thought leadership and events, access to a network of like-minded peers, and full-time use of a modern co-working space.

Rony Seamons, head of people operations at iCOMAT, said: “Through this investment, we enter an exciting new era for the business which brings an opportunity to grow our existing team.

“When fully operational, we expect to bring an additional 60 high-value roles to the company to help drive production, which will include multiple engineering and some highly specific composite roles.

“We have also made plans to engage with local learning providers to we can continue to provide exciting career paths for those leaving education in the region.”

“Being a part of NatWest’s Entrepreneur Accelerator Hub has been a key part of the growth of the business and for myself on a personal level as a former Accelerator Manager.

“It’s provided us with mentoring support as well as access to a like-minded community of entrepreneurs who are always happy to offer advice and share learnings from their own experiences.

“We’re looking forward to continuing our relationship with NatWest as we work together to expand the business and create high-quality employment and investment opportunities in the region.”

NatWest’s Bristol Accelerator Hub provides advice and support to businesses within the South West’s vibrant enterprise community from its base in Trinity Quay.