in Space

UK space sector working together on response to coronavirus

Posted 31 March 2020 · Add Comment

The UK Space Agency and trade body UKspace, are working together to help the space sector respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Image copyright Shutterstock

The Chief Executive of the UK Space Agency and the President and Chair of the UKspace trade body met virtually last week to discuss the space sector’s response to Covid-19.

The UK space sector employs 42,000 people and generates an income of £14.8 billion each year, while supporting £300 billion of wider economic activity through other industries with satellite services such as navigation, communications and Earth observation. Space is part of the UK’s Critical National Infrastructure and has in-built resilience due to the autonomous nature of many orbital operations, the relatively low number of specialist staff required for ongoing operations, and multiple contingencies.

During the meeting the UK Space Agency and UKspace agreed to:

  • Maintain an effective flow of information between the space sector and government during the COVID-19 crisis.
  • Establish dedicated teams from the UK Space Agency and UKspace to direct companies towards the support available from government.
  • Identify any further actions that the government and trade body can take to minimise the disruption of COVID-19.

Broaden the engagement with space businesses beyond members of UKspace.

Graham Turnock Chief Executive of the UK Space Agency said: "While we know the UK space sector is strong and resilient, we have been engaging regularly with representatives from industry and academia to fully understand the challenges they are likely to face over the coming months.

"We have agreed an initial plan of action with UKspace to ensure the whole UK space sector has access to the unprecedented package of government support already available, and are carefully considering the need for any further, more targeted measures to secure high-skilled jobs and safeguard our world-leading space capabilities."

Graham Peters, Chair of UKspace, the trade association, said: "UKspace members have an extraordinary wealth of technical and scientific expertise and many provide critical services in areas of telecommunications, position navigation and timing and Earth observation.

"We are working closely with the UK Space Agency and our members to ensure critical space enabled services remain operational; to find ways our members can support the national effort to fight the virus; and in helping the government take actions that will make the sector resilient to the economic challenges so it can take advantage of future opportunities once the virus has been defeated."

There is an unprecedented package of government-backed and guaranteed loans to support businesses, making available an initial £330 billion of guarantees – equivalent to 15% of GDP.

This includes:

  • The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme providing government-backed loans of up to £5 million to small and medium-sized businesses.
  • The Bank of England’s COVID Corporate Financing Facility will provide a quick and cost-effective way to raise working capital for those large firms who need it.

More details about business support schemes can be found at:



* required field

Post a comment

Other Stories
Latest News

EasyJet to resume flying from 15th June

EasyJet’s has announced plans to resume some flights from 15th June, including the airline's daily services between Glasgow, London Gatwick and Belfast airports and resume flights across its European network in France from Nice,

£1m available to support MoD innovation priorities

Defence Innovation funding has been set aside for civil sector support of the innovation priorities of the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD).

WTTC launches safe travel protocols

The London headquartered World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) has today unveiled the second phase of measures to rebuild global consumer confidence to encourage the return of air travel and tourism.

Nasmyth CE attains JOSCAR accreditation

Nasmyth CE, a Trading Company of Nasmyth Technologies Ltd, has achieved JOSCAR Accreditation.

New report reveals UK as world leader in online safety innovation

A new report published yesterday, shows that the UK’s rapidly-growing safety tech sector is helping make the online world safer for millions of people.

HMS Queen Elizabeth steps closer to maiden operational deployment

HMS Queen Elizabeth is one step closer to being able to deploy on global operations after completing the first stages of Operational Sea Training.

Atkins SK1405170620
See us at
SMI favws BT0602040620DVD 2020