This morning at his first visit to the site of a future UK spaceport in Sutherland, Business Secretary Greg Clark expanded on the commercial opportunities to be gained.
New figures published today by the UK Space Agency reveal that the UK could compete in a high value market to launch an estimated 2,000 satellites by 2030.
On his first visit to the site of a new spaceport at Sutherland, Clark said that the spaceport could be worth 400 jobs to local Scottish economy.
In July £31.5m of funding was announced to support the Sutherland spaceport. This is a key part of the Industrial Strategy to ensure the UK thrives in the commercial space age.
Commercial vertical and horizontal launch demand is worth a potential £3.8bn to the UK economy over the next decade and will support further growth of Britain’s space sector.
He commented that thanks to the UK’s location, planned regulatory framework, private sector strategy and space ecosystem, Britain has a competitive advantage to compete for a substantial share of a market for launching an estimated 2,000 small satellites by 2030.
During the visit the Secretary of State viewed plans for the spaceport site and held discussions with local people and businesses to hear their thoughts.
Figures released to coincide with his visit suggest that existing ‘rideshare’ small satellite launches (small satellites piggybacking on larger missions) are capable of meeting less than 35% of the total demand. This reveals a significant gap in commercial small satellite launch provision for which future UK spaceports are well placed to compete.
Business Secretary Greg Clark said: “From our market leadership in small satellite construction to our world leading universities Scotland and the UK comes from a position of strength in the global space sector which will be turbo boosted by the first new spaceport and our Industrial Strategy.
“However, I want to make sure that this giant leap for the UK will also deliver on the ground, that’s why I’m here today to discuss benefits in local jobs, uplifting tourism and businesses, helping to bring prosperity to all.”