Bloodhound land speed record project shuts down

Written by: Amy Best | Published:
This is a crying shame, how do we inspire youngsters into engineering careers when they hear that ...

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Attempts by business advisory firm FRP advisory to raise the necessary funds for Project Bloodhound have failed, meaning that the initiative has ended.

The project initially set out to break the existing land speed record of 763mph, and race a car at over 1,000mph. Until this point, Bloodhound has only reached speeds of up to 200mph. However, a main focus of the project was to encourage children into careers in STEM, inspiring the next generation of engineers.

Since its inception in 2007, the STEM campaign has reached over two million children, including 120,000 UK schoolchildren per year. Back in October, Andrew Sheridan, joint administrator and partner, FRP, 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.”

However, no such funding has been secured, and the project cannot survive on donation and sponsorship. The third-party equipment, i.e. the Rolls-Royce Eurofighter jet engine, will be returned, and assets of the company will be sold.

Sheridan says: “Despite overwhelming public support, and engagement with a wide range of potential and credible investors, it has not been possible to secure a purchaser for the business and assets.”

Bloodhound reported in a release in October that 65% of students engaged by the Bloodhound Education Programme would now consider engineering or science as a vocation (sample size: 1,804). Applications to study engineering at university have also substantially increased as a result of Project Bloodhound, according to University of West of England and Swansea University.

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This is a crying shame, how do we inspire youngsters into engineering careers when they hear that those with full pockets will not support such a project. Nobody was ever going to get rich out of this - but is altruism dead? What about a consortium of Universities getting together to finance this - after all, they will benefit from the fees of more engineering students and they seem to have plenty of money for expanding their bricks and mortar - what about building inspiration. Or is it just another victim of brexit?

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