UK Government announces funding for spaceports

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The Government has announced plans for the development of UK-based vertical and horizontal spaceports – the first of its kind outside of the US.

A proposed vertical launch site in Sutherland, Scotland has received funding of £2.5million from the UK Space Agency, which the Government anticipates will create hundreds of new jobs.

According to a BBC report, the space sector currently generates more than £11billion for the economy annually, and employs around 34,000 people. By 2030, the UK Government hopes to capture 10% of the global space market, the report adds, which could result in 100,000 additional jobs.

“Our recent Space Industry Act has unlocked the potential for hundreds of new jobs and billions of revenue for British business across the country,” confirms Secretary of State for Transport, Chris Grayling.

Prestwick, Scotland is also in the running to receive further investment of £2m towards the development of horizontal launch sites, the Government adds.

“The spaceport grant will help to kick-start an exciting new era for the UK space industry, and this is only the beginning of our LaunchUK campaign,” says Graham Turnock, Chief Executive of the UK Space Agency.

“As a nation of innovators and entrepreneurs,” says UK Government Business Secretary, Greg Clark, “we want Britain to be the first place in mainland Europe to launch satellites as part of our modern Industrial Strategy. The UK’s thriving space industry, research community and aerospace supply chain put the UK in a leading position to develop both vertical and horizontal launch sites.

“This will build on our global reputation for manufacturing small satellites and help the whole country capitalise on the huge potential of the commercial space age.”