[SatNews] UKspace—the Space Trade Association—welcomed the Chancellor’s commitment to invest key space programs which will maintain U.K. leadership in key industrial capabilities.
These and related investments recently agreed by the Chancellor form the mainstay of the U.K. contribution to the European Space Agency (ESA) budget, agreed at the 2014 Ministerial meeting on December 2. The investment, announced in the Autumn Statement, recognizes the industry’s contribution to the U.K. economy, which has delivered above average growth for more than a decade. Government figures for the industry show that U.K. space turnover increased by 15 percent in last two financial years; the UK space sector now adds £11.3 billion to the U.K. economy. In addition, employment in the industry has risen by 18.7 percent and exports have increased, with sales to Asia doubling since 2010/11, sales in Europe growing by 50 percent and sales to the Americas by 11 percent.
This success is largely due to continued public and private sector investment, enabling U.K. industry to retain its technical leadership in many space and satellite capabilities. This investment also keeps the U.K. on track for meeting its growth ambitions laid out in the Space Innovation and Growth Strategy. The Space IGS set the U.K. an ambitious target of growing its share of the global space market from 6 to 10 percent by 2030.
Andy Green, President of UKspace and co-Chair of the Space Leadership Council, said, "I am delighted with the targeted investment in key space programs vital for the success of the space industry. It is particularly welcome given the Chancellor’s limited scope for spending in this year’s Autumn Statement. The Government’s support for space and committed to these ESA programs is crucial to unlock a much bigger sum in private sector investment, helping to strengthen the U.K.’s industrial capabilities in this fast moving sector, leading to further innovation and economic growth."
Steve Smart, Chair of UKspace, said, "I am extremely pleased that the Chancellor has recognised the economic importance of the UK space sector. These types of investment are critical to ensuring that the UK space industry retains its technical edge and competitiveness, and allow for the continued creation of high tech and value added jobs.Crucially, this carefully focussed government funding will unlock significant private sector investment, drive innovation and keep the sector on its ambitious growth trajectory."
The UKspace infosite offers further information at http://www.ukspace.org/