UK Space Agency jobs in Swindon secure despite government changes

A CHANGE in the responsibilities of the British Space Agency will not affect the 200 people employed at its base in Swindon.

The agency previously dealt with high-level space strategy and policy, but it is now the Ministry of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy that will take charge following a government review. .

The department said the reshuffle will support the coordination of the UK’s first-ever national space strategy, which it hopes will bring long-term strategic and business benefits to the country.

The UK Space Agency will continue to lead major programs to support UK first space launches, pioneering satellite innovation and foster space hubs across the country, while playing a key role in supporting BEIS for comprehensive strategic plans.

A BEIS spokesperson said: “There is no plan to cut jobs and the review will not affect the UK Space Agency base in Swindon.

“All parts of government are working together to further accelerate the growth of the UK space sector, which currently raises some £ 15 billion annually in private investment and employs 42,000 people across the country.

“The UK Space Agency is key to delivering the government’s global space ambitions, unlocking innovation, pushing the frontiers of knowledge and creating jobs across the UK.

Separately, the agency lost responsibility for regulation, including the rules governing the launch of spacecraft from the UK, to the Civil Aviation Authority.

The changes came following a review of the Whitehall space landscape on the division of responsibilities for space between the government and the agency, which has a budget of £ 577million.

The new arrangements were revealed two weeks after Graham Turnock, the agency’s chief executive, announced he would step down later this year with a replacement who has yet to be announced. The reshuffle suggests ministers will play a much narrower role in shaping Britain’s plans for space.

The government announced a major space strategy for the UK in the 2019 Queen’s Speech and the creation of a National Space Council, a cabinet-level committee set to meet next month.

The strategy has not yet been announced. Last month, industry body UKspace warned Britain was at risk of becoming permanently stranded as a ‘third-three’ space nation, saying it was’ slumbering in increasing dependence on it. others for our economic resilience and security ”.

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