UK Space Industry turnover has increased by 17 per cent to £2.9 billion,
according to the results of a new survey published today.

The latest study looking into the Size and Health of the UK’s space
industry shows employment has also increased by 14 per cent.

The survey is the most ambitious and comprehensive review of UK
commercial space activities yet undertaken. It provides an insight into
the size and health of the space industry.

Dr Colin Hicks, Director of the British National Space Centre (BNSC),
which commissioned the study, said,

"The continuing expansion of the satellite services market reflects the
emphasis in the Government’s space policy on commercial opportunities
from exploiting these technologies.

"Spaced-based services are helping people live better lives at home
and at work — by providing cheaper and more versatile global
communications, new navigation systems and improved weather forecasting.

"Commercial customers accounted for 77 per cent of industry turnover
in 2000-01 and represented some 90 per cent of turnover in the
telecommunications sector."

The improvement was mainly due to the strength of the downstream
industry — the sector that exploits space technology, including
satellite communication service providers and equipment suppliers and
space insurance companies. The figures reveal the dominance of the
downstream sector within the overall space industry while the upstream
sector — companies which research, build and supply satellite
technology — was relatively static in 2000-01.

Similarly, the increase in employment from 13,789 to 15,701 people
during 2000-01 was mainly due to the downstream side of the industry,
which now represents almost two thirds of employment within the

The study highlights telecommunications and broadcasting as the most
important application sector within the UK space industry. Excluding
the Direct-to-Home broadcasting sector, it now represents almost 80
per cent of total industry turnover.

Together with BNSC’s previous surveys in 1992, 1994, 1996 and 1998
there is now ten year’s worth of useful data relating to the industry
and gives some indication of outcomes of Government policy.

Notes to Editors

  1. The report is the latest in a series of in-depth reports, first
    commissioned by the BNSC in 1992, to determine the size and health
    of the UK’s space industry. In a departure from previous studies and
    to better account for the diversity of the UK’s space industry, the
    business categories for this latest study were expanded to include
    some major downstream industrial segments, including satellite
    communication service providers, user equipment providers and space
    insurance companies. This makes it the most ambitious and
    comprehensive survey of the UK commercial space industry to date.

  2. A copy of the executive summary of the report is available on the
    BNSC website, (136KB)

  3. The British National Space Centre (BNSC) is the UK Government body
    responsible for UK civil space policy, to help gain the best
    possible scientific, economic and social benefits from putting
    space to work.

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