Swindon MP highlights local space industry in House of Commons



Justin Tomlinson, the Conservative MP for North Swindon, pushed the case for the local space industry in a House of Commons debate this week.

Mr Tomlinson asked Greg Clark, the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he was taking to support growth in the UK space sector.

He also asked how the upcoming Spaceflight Bill would enable the UK to build on its strengths in science, research and innovation.

In his response, Mr Clark described Mr Tomlinson as a “stellar” MP.

The UK Space Agency is based at Polaris House in North Star Avenue, Swindon. It is responsible for all strategic decisions on the UK civil space programme and its aim is to provide a single voice for UK space ambitions.

Mr Tomlinson said: “Many people think that my constituency, North Swindon, is out of this world, and they are not wrong as we are home to the UK Space Agency.

“Will the Secretary of State therefore tell me how the upcoming Spaceflight Bill will enable the UK to build on its strengths in science, research and innovation?”

Mr Clark said: “North Swindon has a stellar Member of Parliament, too.

“The space sector is one of our most important industries and the Spaceflight Bill, in particular, will move us forwards and enable us to be in the business not only of manufacturing satellites but of launching them, which will give us further industrial opportunities from which not only Swindon but the whole UK can benefit.”

Mr Clark described the UK’s space sector as “world leading”. He said a quarter of the world’s telecommunication satellites were either built in the UK or had key UK components.

Mr Clark added: “Our recently announced draft Spaceflight Bill will enable UK businesses to enter a global market worth an expected £25billion over the next 20 years.

“Our industrial strategy will ensure that we build on that and continue to be a global leader in this very important sector.”