A SPACE rocket company is looking for a site in East Lothian to test its engines.

Skyrora, which has offices in Edinburgh, is understood to have approached East Lothian Council asking for assistance in identifying sites where it can test its rocket engines before sending them to a proposed spaceport in the north of Scotland for launch.

A meeting of Cockenzie Community Forum yesterday evening (Wednesday), was told that the company was considering a number of sites with Prestonpans Community Councillor Calum Miller suggesting the former Cockenzie Power Station site could be a possible home for it or ed that East Fortune Airfield could be a potential home for the company’s site.

Skyrora describes itself as a launch vehicle development company with aims to cater for the growing demand to send small satellites into space.

It is developing rockets which it hopes to launch from a UK spaceport.

The engine testing would not involve the launching of rockets but would require fuel to be stored on-site to fire up the engines.

The UK Space Agency announced it was investing millions of pounds in a site in Sutherland as the new home of the UK’s first spaceport for launching rockets.

Skyrora said it was looking for an engine test site within an hour of its Edinburgh offices to give it a local base.

Presenting the proposals to the forum yesterday evening, Prestonpans community councillor Calum Miller said that the engine testing would sound no louder than a jet engine to those within 500 metres and the benefits the site could bring would outweigh the “minor inconvenience”.

He said: “We can bring top scientists and engineers into East Lothian, there is potential for localised manufacturing and supply of goods and services, to interest local schools in engineering, science and the next space race.”

He added that the community council had not taken a view on the proposals and was looking for feedback.

Earlier this year it was revealed that Glasgow produced more space satellites than any other city outside of the USA.

Robin Hague, lead engineer with Skyrora, said that the company was designing a new Scottish launch vehicle and looking at a number of locations around Edinburgh, the Lothians and Fife to ground test its engines.

He said: “East Lothian has some excellent possibilities and we look forward to seeing if we can find a home there.”

A council spokesperson said: “We would always be interested in finding out more about projects which have the potential to grow the local economy and support jobs.”