Andrew Bridgen welcomes £14 million investment to develop space technologies in Leicester and asks about further encouragement for the space industrial cluster in the midlands.
2. What assessment he has made of the adequacy of levels of funding for the UK science base. 
We are committed to making the UK the global go-to nation for scientists, innovators and tech investors. That is why, as part of the industrial strategy, we have announced an increase of £4.7 billion in public research and development funds—the biggest increase in science support for 40 years.
I welcome the Government’s recent £14 million investment to develop space technologies in Leicester, including the university-led national space park. What further steps could the Minister take to encourage the space industrial cluster in the midlands?
The space industry has an important role to play in driving growth across the UK, and the Government are working closely with the sector to make that a reality. I am pleased that the Leicester and Leicestershire local enterprise partnership is grasping this opportunity. The Satellite Applications Catapult has funded a centre of excellence in the east midlands for the past three years, focused on linking industry to local and national expertise. In addition, the UK Space Agency is supporting business incubators in Leicester, Nottingham and Loughborough to develop innovative space start-ups.