New ‘space hub’ to open in Liverpool city region
Liverpool city region is to be home to a North West ‘space hub’ and play a major role in the growth of the UK’s £15bn space sector.
For several years the Northern Space Consortium has been working to build up a space cluster in the North West and North Wales. Across the UK the space-related businesses employ almost 42,000 people.
Its focuses on areas such digital technology and advanced manufacturing and develops technology that enhances our everyday lives. Now the Government is investing in seven new space hubs, costing around £80,000 each, across the UK.
In the North West, the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC), through its Daresbury Laboratory at Sci-Tech Daresbury in the Liverpool city region, will lead the project on behalf of the North West, working closely with the UK Space Agency.
Bob Morris, chairman of the Northern Space Consortium, said: “This is great news not just for the North West but for the UK in general. Recognising all the skills and expertise in the North West, the Northern Space Consortium was set up to help our region play a bigger part in and benefit from the rapidly expanding space industry.
“The UK has ambitious plans for the space industry and a space hub in our region is the natural focus for such an expansion which is why we fully supported the bid and look forward to working with STFC and the other stakeholders on this exciting development.”
The UK space industry has trebled in size since 2010 and Liverpool City Region Metro Mayor, Steve Rotheram, who supported the bid, believes it offers a great opportunity to “level up” the economy. He explained: “The space sector in the UK is already worth £15 billion a year, based on digital and advanced manufacturing, where we have internationally- recognised strengths.
“When you combine those strengths with scientific assets such as at STFC’s Daresbury Laboratory and the Hartree Centre, amongst others, and our plans to make the Liverpool city region the most digitally connected in the UK, you can see the huge potential for the space economy to turbo charge our recovery.”
This new funding is one element of an expanded programme of regional activity which the UK Space Agency plans to set out in the coming months. These activities will be delivered alongside key partners such as the Satellite Applications Catapult, as part of its commitment to help rebalance the economy and support new high-skilled jobs and careers in space across the country.