The Bloodhound Land Speed Record program has entered administration as the group behind it is calling for £25 million in funding.
The project aimed to break the 1,000mph barrier in runs at the specially built 18km long Hakskeen Pan race track in South Africa. The initial plan was to run up to 800mph, breaking the existing land speed record, before reconfiguring the car for its 1,000mph run a year later.
In addition to this, the project aimed to involve schools in a STEM education campaign, teaching the benefits of a career in engineering to primary and secondary school pupils alongside colleges at universities. To date the campaign has reached over two million children, including 120,000 from the UK.
To date the project has operated on a partnership and sponsorship model, with support from a variety of partners including Rolls Royce and Rolex as well as the Ministry of Defence which has lent prototype jet engines for the car, and the Northern Cape Provincial Government in South Africa, which has supported the creation of the track. Individual donations from members of the public have also supported the development of the car and the global education programme.
The project has already successfully built a viable racing car which has been tested to 200mph, whilst developing or testing propulsion, aerodynamic and telecommunications technologies with the potential for far reaching applications outside of the project. The team is now seeking around £25 million in investment to provide guaranteed funding and see the project to completion.
Andrew Sheridan, joint administrator, commented: “Bloodhound is a truly ground-breaking project which has already built a global audience and helped to inspire a new generation of STEM talent in the UK and across the world. Entering into administration provides some breathing space to identify an investor who will bring the guaranteed funding, impetus and expertise required to drive the project forward.
“Whilst not an insignificant amount, the £25 million Bloodhound requires to break the land speed record is a fraction of the cost of, for example, finishing last in a F1 season or running an Americas Cup team. This is an opportunity for the right investor to leave a lasting legacy. We are already in discussion with a number of potential investors and would encourage any other interested party to contact us without delay.”
Mark Chapman, Chief Engineer, Project Bloodhound, commented: “Bloodhound has had enormous success in creating the world’s most advanced land vehicle. As we now move out of the R&D phase and into the operational phase of the project, we recognise that we need a different approach to funding. This project is built around the most successful team in the history of Land Speed Racing, and with the right support we have no doubt that the project will achieve its aims and could be racing for the record in as little as ten months.”