Space sector ‘a real success story’ for the UK

28 October 2013
By Edd Gent
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The UK space sector has an average growth rate of almost 7.5 per cent

The UK space sector has an average growth rate of almost 7.5 per cent

The establishment of the UK Space Agency has helped make the UK’s space sector a multi-billion pound success story, according to a new report.

The investigation by the Science and Technology Committee found that the UK’s space sector economy’s fastest growing sectors, with an average growth rate of almost 7.5 per cent, and ambitions to increase annual turnover to £40bn by 2030.

The agency was established in 2011 and is responsible for funding projects together with the European Space Agency, advising ministers on policy and also regulating the industry, including managing the licensing of UK-based satellite operators.

“The UK’s space sector is a real success story,” said committee chair Andrew Miller. “Our inquiry heard much positive feedback about the work of the UK Space Agency since its creation in 2011.

“Whilst there is more work to done, we were pleased to find a sense of momentum within the Agency and a real desire to respond to the needs of the space sector. Given the right support, the sector will continue to grow and provide more and more high quality jobs in disciplines where the UK has real strength.”

The report welcomed recent increases in the UK’s commitments to the European Space Agency, but MPs also urged the UK Space Agency to strengthen UK influence within the European Space Agency by providing support for UK candidates applying for future director-level positions.

Miller added: “There are a number of exciting developments happening in the UK space sector, including the expansion of the European Space Agency’s operations at Harwell, the establishment of the Satellite Applications Catapult and Major Tim Peake’s upcoming mission to the International Space Station.

"With continued cross-party support, we hope to see this sector expand in line with its ambitions and continue to attract jobs and businesses to the UK.”

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