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Spaceport will help launch new generation of British industry

Posted by: Tom Webb-Skinner 8 Apr 14 - 12:02PM  | Aerospace

The British Space Innovation and Growth Strategy Steering Board has proposed the development of a national Spaceport to take advantage of the coming era of space tourism and act as satellite launch centre. According to Jonathan Lee Recruitment’s Karla Harris-Hignett of Aerospace, Defence and Aviation; this kind of infrastructure development will help to develop a new generation of small businesses and further diversify Britain’s engineering sectors.

“The space industry is exactly the right environment for small but ingenious SMEs to thrive in,” says Karla. “The ability to rapidly conceive, design and develop highly innovative components for specific niche uses is exactly what this is all about. Putting satellites into orbit or a tourist into space will not require mass-produced volume items, but very specific tailor-made engineering to suit the exact requirements of the project. That is something that the UK is already extremely good at and this development will play right into our industry’s strengths.”

The Spaceport Project is the most eye-catching recommendation in a wide-ranging plan that covers both “upstream” production of satellites, launchers and space infrastructure and the larger market for “downstream” applications such as satellite broadband, navigation and Earth observation. The aim is to raise the revenue of the UK space industry from about £10bn this year to £19bn in 2020 and £40bn in 2030 - equivalent to 10 per cent of the anticipated global market.

“If the project succeeds, up to 100,000 new jobs could be created, many of which will be in exciting engineering or technical fields with the potential for SMEs to particularly thrive,” says Karla. “At Jonathan Lee Recruitment we believe that many of the required skill-sets already exist within the current UK talent pool in areas such as Aerospace and Automotive. For us it is about finding those people and adapting their knowledge to suit the requirements of what is sure to be an exciting and interesting area.”

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