UK’s “world-class” space sector income reaches £17.5bn as jobs and services grow

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The amount the UK space sector brings to the UK economy has grown by £1bn, helping to launch new business and create jobs across the country, according to latest figures.

Despite the global disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, space organisations presented a “robust picture”, generating £17.5bn in 2021, compared to £16.5bn the previous year.

Figures in the latest Size & Health of the UK Space Industry report show the number of space organisations identified across the UK rose from 1,293 to 1,590, creating 1,772 jobs. The sector now employs just under 48,800 people and supports an estimated 26,800 UK jobs across the wider supply chain.

Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology, Michelle Donelan, commented: “With the global space economy expanding rapidly, investing in the UK our space capabilities can unlock new opportunities, bringing more jobs, skills and businesses to the UK.

“The government is committed to supporting this high-growth sector, boosting the UK’s reputation as a growing space power, and inspiring the next generation of professionals.”

The West Midlands, East of England and Wales saw the highest proportional growth in space sector income, while Northern Ireland, Yorkshire and the Humber and the North East experienced the biggest proportional increase in the number of space organisations. Employment rose by the largest proportion in the North West and East of England.

Dr Paul Bate, chief executive at the UK Space Agency, added: “The £1bn increase in sector income and £635m investment generated by UK companies shows the confidence of investors and businesses in the UK space sector.

“The UK Space Agency will continue to catalyse investment to maintain this positive growth and bring further benefits across the UK economy, the science community and to the planet as a whole.

“World-class satellite manufacturing, science and technology expertise have ensured the UK plays a key role in major international missions, and we are increasing our national capabilities in fast-growing areas.

“We have seen a significant rise of space organisations in Northern Ireland and northern parts of England, of sector income in the East of England, West Midlands and Wales, and of employment in the North West. To ensure we continue this journey, it’s crucial that we nurture skills and expertise, both established and emerging, all over the UK.”


By Matthew Neville – Senior Correspondent, Bdaily

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