Firm behind 1,000mph Bloodhound car goes into administration

The company behind the Bloodhound supersonic car – which aims to hit speeds of 1,000mph – has entered administration.

Bloodhound Programme Ltd, the firm behind the initiative to break the land speed world record, went into administration on Monday.

Project Bloodhound was founded in 2007 with plans to race the car at a specially built track in the deserts of South Africa.

The team is seeking £25 million investment to provide guaranteed funding and see the project to completion.

Over the past 11 years, the project has operated on a partnership and sponsorship model with support from companies including Rolls-Royce and Rolex.

The Ministry of Defence has lent prototype jet engines for the car and Northern Cape Provincial Government in South Africa supported the creation of the track.

Members of the public have donated to support the car’s development and a global education programme, which has reached more than two million children.

Bloodhound has already reached 200mph during tests at Newquay Airport in Cornwall last year.

Mark Chapman, chief engineer of Project Bloodhound, said: “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 10 months.”

Pilot Andy Green stands beside the Bloodhound 1,000mph supersonic racing car before its first public run at Cornwall Airport, near Newquay (Ben Birchall/PA)
Pilot Andy Green with the Bloodhound 1,000mph supersonic car before its first public run at Newquay Airport (Ben Birchall/PA)

Andrew Sheriden and Geoff Rowley, partners at FRP Advisory LLP, were appointed as joint administrators for Bloodhound Programme.

“Bloodhound is a truly ground-breaking project which has already built a global audience and helped to inspire a new generation of Stem (science, technology, engineering and maths) talent in the UK and across the world,” Mr Sheriden said.

“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.”

Bloodhound will cover a mile in 3.6 seconds at full speed.

The world land speed record of 763mph is held by Thrust SSC, led by Bloodhound’s project director Richard Noble and driver Andy Green.

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