The UK Space Agency has been launched to coordinate activities in a sector expected to generate 100,000 jobs in the next 20 years, with many to be filled by contractors.
Pam Alexander, Chief Executive of the South East England Development Agency (SEEDA) stated, “The space industry is growing three times faster than the rest of the economy and will make a major contribution to the UK’s future economic success. The sector is already growing strongly in the South East and London, delivering high-quality, hi-tech jobs in telecommunications, security and navigational systems.”
At the launch of the UK Space Agency, Business Secretary Lord Mandelson and Science Minister Lord Drayson announced the creation of a new £40m International Space Innovation Centre (ISIC) at Harwell, supported by £12m from BIS’ Strategic Investment Fund. The Centre is at the heart of Government plans to support Britain’s growing space sector and will be sited with the European Space Agency facility opened last July. It will provide a central hub for British space activity and ensure the UK maintains its world-leading space capability.
The space and satellite industry is one of the UK’s unsung success stories. It supports 68,000 permanent and contractor jobs in the UK directly and indirectly, and contributes £6bn to the economy. This hi-tech, high-skilled sector underpins the high speed broadband, high definition television, GPS and weather forecasting that the modern world relies on.