Having previously noted the relative success of the under-supported UK space industry which is now worth some £9.1 billion per annum, the UK government has sought to make amends by announcing that a further £60 million of spending per annum will be made available to the UK Space Agency.
The money will be used to raise its contribution to the European Space Agency (ESA) including its new facility at Harwell in Oxfordshire. Harwell is rapidly becoming a hub of space expertise in already having the Satellite Applications Catapult Centre and RAL Space on its site.
The announcement comes ahead of the European Space Agency's Ministerial Council in Naples, Italy, which will decide on the actual funding of individual programmes within ESA. .
Commenting on the new funding in a news release, the Minister for Universities and Science, David Willetts said: "This increase will bring the UK's total investment in the European Space Agency to an average of £240 million per year over the next five years. This will allow the UK to play a leading role in the next phase of European space collaboration. It will drive growth, create extra skilled jobs and help the UK to realise its ambition to have a £30 billion space industry by 2030."