Bloodhound land speed project officially axed

Bloodhound SSC The 1000mph project has been canned after administrators failed to secure a £25million cash injection

Bloodhound, the 1000mph land speed record project founded in 2007 by previous record holder Richard Noble and current holder Andy Green, has been shut down after administrators failed to find the cash needed to keep it running.

The bold project entered administration in October, citing a shortage of funds since running the car at 200mph on Newquay Airport a year ago.

At the time, team insiders say the project needed around £5 million to run the car at 500-600mph under jet power on its already-prepared 18km track in South Africa, around £15m to achieve 800mph and break the existing record, and around £25m to reach its ultimate goal of lifting the record to 1000mph.  

Andrew Sheridan, from administrators FRP Advisory, had been put in charge of securing the funding. While hopeful he could find the funding when interviewed by Autocar, he has now said that no purchaser could be found. 

“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,” Sheridan told the BBC.

“We will now work with the key stakeholders to return the third-party equipment and then sell the remaining assets of the company to maximise the return for creditors.”

The FRP Advisory team that took the helm was the same group that found new owners and a stable future for the Force India Formula 1 team. When he took over the project, joint administrator Andrew Sheridan described Bloodhound as “a truly ground-breaking project that has built a global audience and helped inspire a new generation of STEM [science, technology, engineering, maths] talent in the UK”.

Opinion: how Bloodhound could have survived 

At the time it entered administration, Bloodhound bosses had estimated the project would take about 10 months to get ready for its first South African runs, building the team up from the present five or six to around 15 people. For the full-on 1000mph record runs, they’d have needed closer to 40 people.

In an unusually bullish statement at the time, Sheridan said he believed administration provides the team with “breathing space” to identify new investors. “While not an insignificant amount,” he said, “the £25m Bloodhound requires to break the land speed record is a fraction of the cost of, for example, finishing last in an F1 season or running an America’s Cup team. 

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