Defence Industry: Scotland

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 4:30 pm on 30th April 2019.

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Photo of Ged Killen Ged Killen Labour/Co-operative, Rutherglen and Hamilton West 4:30 pm, 30th April 2019

The hon. Gentleman is absolutely right. As a satellite hub, companies in Glasgow have produced huge volumes of satellites. Two companies, Alba Orbital and Spire Global, have between them put around 100 satellites in orbit, and Spire Global makes one new satellite per week. The recent go-ahead for the spaceport in Sutherland, as well as Glasgow’s growing microsatellite industry, perfectly places Scotland to take advantage of new investment and infrastructure.

Investment from the MOD will be a major factor in the successful development of space and satellite technologies. Any investment will naturally lead to a build-up of skills and will spill over into the civilian sector. I would therefore be grateful if the Minister indicated the role that the upcoming strategic defence and security review will have in supporting the development and expansion of the space industry in Scotland, and what representations he will make to ensure that that vital high-growth sector is not overlooked. The industry is highly competitive and, as Jamie Stone said, it is vital that the UK takes a lead.