Glasgow is set to join the big ranks after the City Council managed to secure funding for a brand new space centre in the Merchant City.

Following in the footsteps of NASA, young companies looking to the stars will be heading to the Tontine - a new innovation hub on Trongate - thanks to the £50,000 funding from the UK Space Agency.

The money will be used by the council and the University of Strathclyde’s Scottish Centre for Satellite Applications (SoXSA) to bring about a major boost to startups looking to go further into the space sector.

The partnership is set to give Scotland an even bigger share of the UK space industry - which is worth more than £11 billion.

As well as this, around 18 per cent of the UK’s space sector employment - the equivalent of around 7,000 jobs - is now based in Scotland, with successful space companies from around the world choosing to base themselves in Scotland’s biggest city.

Councillor Frank McAveety, leader of Glasgow City Council, said he was “thrilled” by the news, which it is “another coup” for the Tontine.

He added: “Attracting such companies is great for the innovation clusters developing in Glasgow, underlining our growing status as a home for advanced industries and technologies, so critical to our long-term success.

“This is a fantastic day for the city and our economy, and the result of the hard work of the council and our partners.”

The money will benefit six companies which will be located at the Tontine.

They will also receive business support specific to the space sector, have accommodation and administration costs covered for two years, and be offered dedicated workshops and expertise to help them on their way.

The Tontine opened in May last year as part of the £1.13 billion Glasgow City Region City Deal. It is also supported by the UK Cabinet Office’s Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS).

The building has been extensively upgraded to provide high-quality, flexible work spaces for growing small to medium sized enterprises (SMEs), with a particular focus on businesses working within enabling technologies, advanced design and manufacturing, and the creative economy.