12 May 2014

UK recommits to aerospace excellence

Summary: New aerospace headquarters that will help allocate £2bn of funding to research and technology projects across the country has officially opened.

The UK’s aerospace sector, including aviation and space, contributes £24bn to the economy every year, supports 3000 companies and employs 230,000 workers across the UK.

Forefront of global aerospace sector

The Aerospace Technology Institute in Cranfield, Bedfordshire, is a major commitment in the government’s Industrial Strategy, established to keep the UK at the forefront of the global aerospace sector.

The ATI will help ensure maximum return from £2bn joint government and industry investment provided through the Industrial Strategy by providing a single, national focus for technology research and facilities in the sector.

The announcement comes after the publication of new reports which aim to maximise the value of the UK’s involvement in the space sector.

The government response to the space Innovation and Growth Strategy (IGS) action plan 2014 – 2030 and the national space security policy (NSSP) set out plans to achieve a £40bn UK space industry by 2030 and a coherent approach to protecting the UK’s space assets.

Thriving sector

Minister for Universities and Science, David Willetts said: “The space sector continues to thrive, and is one of our 8 Great Technologies with the potential to propel UK growth.

“Space industries already support 95,000 full time jobs and generate £9.1bn for the economy each year, and our response to the Growth Action Plan shows our commitment to secure its future growth and realise ambitions to develop a viable UK space port for commercial space flight.”

Business Minister Michael Fallon said of the new HQ:

“The UK has the number one aerospace industry in Europe. I want to make sure we keep it that way.

“This headquarters at Cranfield is one of many new projects supported by Aerospace Technology Institute funding. By supporting partnerships between companies and universities across the UK, we are building the high-grade skills and technologies that will drive sustained growth.”