Yesterday in the House of Commons, MPs used BEIS oral questions to raise the importance of the UK Space sector and what steps the government is taking to support growth and build on the UK’s strengths in science, research and innovation within the sector.
These were the first BEIS oral questions following the government’s recently published draft Spaceflight Bill which aims to enable Spaceflight from the UK by 2020.
Conservative MPs Justin Tomlinson and Steve Baker both asked Greg Clark, the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, on the capacity of the UK’s commercial Space flight sector and what steps the government are taking to support it.
The Secretary of State said:
“The UK’s space sector is world leading. A quarter of the world’s telecommunication satellites are either built here or are built with key UK components. Our recently announced draft Spaceflight Bill will enable UK businesses to enter a global market worth an expected £25 billion over the next 20 years. Our industrial strategy will ensure that we build on that and continue to be a global leader in this very important sector.”
He went on to say:
“The capacity is there, but it requires planning ahead. That is why the industrial strategy mentions the need to invest in science and research and development—it is important that we do that—and the need to look forward to make sure that we have the skills in the workforce to fulfil the order books. The purpose of having a long-term industrial strategy is so that we are prepared to reap those very opportunities.”
It is positive to see support from the government on the Space sector which directly employs 34,000 employees and contributes to the UK economy with an £11bn turnover and with £4bn in exports.
Labour MP Ian Lucas also used this opportunity to highlight the Aerospace industry, which as Greg Clark stressed has been a great success due to the collaboration between industry and government and these same partnerships have also led to a successful Space and Satellite sector.