More than 3,000 jobs created as space sector grows across the UK

space

The UK’s space sector has seen growth in jobs and income while investing more in research and development, leaving it well-placed to grow strongly as we recover from the Covid-19 pandemic, Science Minister Amanda Solloway announced today.

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Findings from the latest ‘Size and Health of the UK Space Industry’ report, commissioned by the UK Space Agency, show the sector supports a highly skilled and productive workforce that’s growing across the country.

The statistics show that in 2018/19, compared to the previous survey from 2016/17:

  • Income has risen from £15.6bn to £16.4bn, representing growth of 5.7% (or 2.8% per annum) in real terms
  • Employment is up by 3,200 from 41,900 to 45,100
  • R&D investment now sits at £702m, up 18% and 5 times the national average intensity
  • Scotland’s thriving sector sees 31% increase in space companies, up from 132 to 173
  • Gross Value Added is up from £6bn to £6.6bn, representing growth of 10.1% (or 5.0% per annum)
  • Over £360bn worth of wider UK economic activity is now supported by satellites, up from £300bn

The number of organisations engaged in space-related activity in the UK has increased from 948 to 1,218, which includes 95 new space-related companies established in the UK during the two year period.

Scotland has increased its number of space companies from 132 employing 7,555 to 173 employing 7,703. Other parts of the UK to see a growth in the number of companies and jobs in the space sector are the South East, South West, East of England, East Midlands, West Midlands, North West, North East and Yorkshire and the Humber.

Science Minister Amanda Solloway said: “The UK space industry is booming and this strong growth is a key part of our plans to level up and build back better from the pandemic, creating thousands of high value space jobs in regions right across the UK. As we look to fulfil our bold ambitions for space, including the first satellite launches from UK soil next year, I look forward to seeing the sector growing further with more young people pursuing exciting careers in space, all while helping to cement the UK’s status as a global space superpower.”

In a boost to the government’s target of investing 2.4% of GDP in research and development by 2027, the survey shows the UK space sector investing increasing sums in new ideas and technologies.

R&D spending is up 18% in real terms from £595m in 2016/17 to £702m in 2018/19. As a proportion of Gross Value Added (GVA), this is 5 times the national average.

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