Hi-tech firms in Aylesbury area urged to tap into lucrative space sector

Hi-tech businesses in the Aylesbury area are being urged to explore new opportunities to tap into billions of pounds of funding.

Friday, 24th April 2020, 11:49 am
Space research is taking Westcott Venture Park to new heights. PNL-140212-100438001

The call has come from senior figures in the UK space sector who are urging companies in the Silverstone Technology Cluster (STC) to explore the potential of business opportunities with them.

Representatives from Airbus, Lockheed Martin and the UK Space Agency were among a high profile speaker line-up at a Business Growth event organised by the STC in Milton Keynes and attended by about 60 representatives of local companies.

Martin Lee, procurement manager for Airbus, said: “The sector’s growth strategy could increase the UK share of the global space market from £18 billion to £30 billion by 2030.

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“But the Space community as it stands today can’t solve everything.

“It’s difficult to put a price on just how much the businesses in the Silverstone Technology Cluster might have to offer the sector.”

The call has been welcomed at Aylesbury’s Westcott Venture Park, which is home to a number of well-established companies supporting rocket and satellite enabled research and development projects.

Nigel Mackenzie, Project Manager for Westcott Venture Park, said: “The space sector is a UK success story, with an ambitious vision to achieve a £40 billion sector and 100,000 jobs by 2030.

“Within this, Westcott is recognised as an integral part of the UK Space sector growth strategy.

Mr Mackenzie said: “Future investment will ensure Westcott’s place at the heart of the UK space industry.

“Over the next 10 years, Westcott will become the UK Centre for the next generation of propulsion systems, small satellite manufacture and downstream service applications for Health and Agritech.

“Westcott played a key role in the First Space Age, with many of the key technological developments for rocket engines being proven at the site. Covering 650 acres there is plenty of land for development of new light industrial, manufacturing and R&D.”

“So the Park is now in an ideal position to support the explosion of the new space age in the UK.”

In 2018, two new buildings were opened at the newly formed Westcott Space Cluster including a new 5G Step-Out Centre and Westcott Business Incubation Centre.

The UK Space Agency’s National Propulsion Test Facility is currently being developed onsite and this year a new Innovation Centre will open to provide grow-on space for small and medium-sized space companies.