According to a report by PwC and the UK Space Agency, the UK remains Europe’s top destination for space investment (second internationally, behind the US) – a position that it has held since 2015. The report describes the space sector in the UK as a “hidden utility”: here’s how the sector currently looks, and why it’s important for investors.
The size of the UK space sector
The UK space sector, claims the report, is now worth £17.5bn, and receives 17% of all global space investment. It supports around £370bn of UK GDP each year, and the UK is now home to over 1,500 space-related companies.
Since 2015, nine of the UK’s biggest venture capital firms have invested in the sector – with the value of VC investments in revenue-generating space companies almost doubling since then.
Why choose the UK for space investment?
The UK is heavily committed to developing its space industry, with the Department for Business and Trade highlighting a number of reasons why it’s so attractive to both domestic and overseas investors:
- Its robust market: The UK already has established expertise in a number of areas, from manufacturing spacecraft to satellite communications and high-end navigation systems.
- Its ambition: The Government introduced its National Space Strategy in 2021, demonstrating its commitment to the sector.
- Its global trade agreements: Through partnerships such as the UK-Australia Space Bridge and relationships with other key international partners, the UK is working hard to promote both collaboration and investment in the sector.
- Government support: There is a range of R&D support available to the UK’s space-related businesses, as well as initiatives like the Space Sector Export Academy.
For individual investors, there are currently no real opportunities to invest in the space race via equities. However, through vehicles like the Seraphim Space Investment Trust it’s possible to get involved in the UK’s space race.
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