The North East of England yesterday (20th November 2023) unveiled its ambitious cluster, Space North East England, to propel the region into the global spotlight as a world-class hub for space businesses and innovation. Launched at the UK Space Conference 2023 in Belfast the dynamic and innovative space sector cluster covers Tyne and Wear, County Durham, Northumberland, and Tees Valley and will solidify the North East’s status as a pivotal player in the space industry’s growth.
The cluster brings together businesses, academia, and institutions to unlock the opportunities within the space sector in North East England as identified in the North East Space Strategy. The strategy is set to have a major impact by generating 10,000 new jobs by 2030 and catalysing substantial growth in the space economy over the next 3-5 years. The strategy is built upon six key pillars:
Talent: A commitment to foster excellence in infrastructure, skills, research, and business ecosystem to attract and retain top talent in the region.
Infrastructure: Investment and development in vital space sector infrastructure, including launch facilities, test facilities, and data centres.
Investment: Crafting an attractive environment for investors and supporting the growth of space businesses in the region.
Market Opportunities: Seizing key addressable market opportunities such as resilient communications, space sustainability, and Earth observation for climate change.
Ecosystem: Cultivating an optimal ecosystem by integrating business, academia, investors, and the public sector.
Connectivity: Empowering the North East to become a fully connected space region, essential to the national space industry.
This visionary strategy was developed by the North East Space Leadership Group, a partnership of key stakeholders from business, academia, and the public sector. The group consists of nearly 20 regional and national senior decision-makers.
John Bone, chairman of the North East Space Leadership Group said: “The North East has a strong heritage of engineering excellence and a vibrant space sector. Our Space Strategy builds on these foundations to set out a clear path forward for the region to become a world-class hub for space businesses and innovation.
“We are committed to working together to deliver the ambitions of this strategy and to create a prosperous and sustainable future for the North East space sector.”
Christopher Mcquire, Head of Space Ecosystem Development at UK Space Agency, said: “It’s exciting to see the incredible growth of the vibrant North East space cluster now establish itself as Space North East England. This is a brilliant example of how the UK space sector is thriving and ready to inspire the next generation across the country.
“We are pleased to provide this catalysing investment that will enable the region to further lead the way in capabilities like instrumentation manufacturing, satellite applications, optical, and radio frequency communications and continue to deliver increasingly ambitious missions and capabilities. We look forward to seeing it progress.”
The establishment of Space North East England builds on the success of the North East Satellite Applications Centre of Excellence and is a pivotal milestone for the North East’s space industry. With an annual revenue of £129 million and just over 1,300 employees across the region, including over 40 companies headquartered in North East England. Space North East England is poised to become a driving force in the region’s economic development.
The cluster’s mission is to provide comprehensive support to existing companies in the region and attract inward investment, catalysing further growth. It is part of a larger movement of regional space clusters emerging throughout the UK, collectively bolstering the nation’s presence in the space industry. The North East, in particular, is positioned to play a significant role.
Led by the North East Space Leadership Group, Space North East England aims to create a robust supply chain nurturing both national and international growth, positioning itself as a hub for Space Start-Ups.
These two developments—the North East Space Strategy and establishment of Space North East England—promise to reshape the North East of England into a vibrant, world-class space region, a testament to the region’s commitment to innovation and growth in the space industry.
To find out more about both the strategy and Space North East England visit www.spacenortheastengland.com.