UK Space Agency boost for West of England

Thursday 19th November 2020

Financial support from the UK Space Agency is to be provided for a new space hub led by the West of England Combined Authority (WECA) to help further its ambitions to harness space-related activities and unlock their economic, social and enironmental benefits, thereby creating significant boost for the local area. The new hub will engage with a wide variety of space related stakeholders across multiple sectors, including SMEs, in the south west region – which should produce considerable new opportunities for companies in this part of England. For the full story please read the bulletin below which was issued by Insider Media today. 

Roger Mundy, Managing Director, Beardsley Theobalds, 19th November 2020

Space agency funding boost for West of England

The West of England’s ambitions to harness space-related activities and unlock their economic, social and environmental benefits have been given a boost by the UK Space Agency. 

Financial support will be provided for a new space hub led by the West of England Combined Authority (WECA). 

The consortium includes the National Composites Centre (NCC), the Centre for Modelling & Simulation (CFMS) and the Universities of Bristol and Bath, which are engaged in research for the space sector including engineering, astronomy, planetary science, and life and health sciences.  

The new hub provides the opportunity for the West of England to position itself at the forefront of space-enabled innovation and inclusive growth. 

West of England mayor Tim Bowles said: "It's fantastic news that once again the government has recognised our ambition for the West of England and we have secured funding for the region's space technology businesses. 

"This initial funding, working in partnership with the UK Space Agency, will launch our work to develop new opportunities and create jobs in this exciting sector. 

"There is real potential to build on our strengths and assets in the region and unlock the potential of the West of England as a 'Place for Space' and secure our long-term economic recovery." 

Industrial champions on the West of England space hub include Thales Alenia Space and CGI Group, two major space anchor companies in the region, as well as LENA Space, a space SME developing low-cost space propulsion. 

The new hub wull engage with a wide variety of space stakeholders across multiple sectors and, in particular, explore how SMEs and aerospace companies that have been adversely impacted by Covid-19 can benefit from space opportunities. 

The West of England is one of seven locations securing government funding to ensure space is a priority for regional economic growth; contributing jobs and attracting commercial investment from space companies to the region. 

Science minister Amanda Solloway said: "This funding will arm local leaders up and down the UK with the tools they need to put their local areas at the front of the commercial space race, while refuelling the tank of the UK economy and helping Britain realise it’s ambitions as a global space superpower."