Government signals take-off for UK spaceports

Commenting on today's announcement that the UK Government is to provide funding for a vertical launch spaceport in Sutherland on the north coast of Scotland, Mark Nisbett, a space sector specialist at RSM UK said:

'This is another important leap for the UK space sector which is already worth £14bn, accounts for 38,500 jobs and supports £250bn of output across the economy.

'The investment in vertical launch capability in Sutherland, the Partnership between Spaceport Cornwall, Virgin Orbit and Newquay Airport, as well as the funding provided for horizontal launch sites in Newquay, Glasgow Prestwick and Snowdonia, provides a further boost for the UK space sector. Taken together, commercial vertical and horizontal launch demand is worth a potential £3.8bn to the UK economy over the next decade.

'It is also interesting to see that the government is looking to encourage closer links to the significant US space sector by reducing barriers for US launchers to launch in the UK. That would support further inward investment, revenues and support services growth for the UK.

'These links with the US will be crucial if the UK space sector is going to reach its target of growing to £40bn by 2030.

'Although Brexit has recently cast a shadow, today's announcement is part of the wider investment in UK aerospace, demonstrating the UK’s continuing drive to stay at the forefront of the space and aerospace sectors.'

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