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UK Space Agency

Volume 508: debated on Tuesday 6 April 2010

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills what estimate he has made of (a) the number of officials at each pay band and (b) the administration costs of the UK Space Agency in 2010-11. (324901)

The final staffing structure will be completed only when all discussions on post transfers are finalised. The current estimate of full-time equivalents translated to BIS grades is:

Number

SCS

4

Grade 6/7

18.5

SEO/HEO/EO/AO

18.25

The above remains an estimate pending final agreement. Back office support for HR, finance and grants will be contracted from one or more of the existing partners.

The estimated administration costs, including staff costs for 2010/11 will be £3.2 million plus the back office function costs, which are funded by existing partners and the necessary transfers are still in negotiation.

There will be no increase in BNSC costs.

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills what the remit of the UK Space Agency is; when he plans to appoint a Space Agency director; what resources he has allocated to the Space Agency in (a) 2009-10 and (b) each of the next three financial years; and from which existing budgets such resources will be drawn. (324902)

The remit of the United Kingdom Space Agency is to manage UK Government civil space programmes as an executive agency. The agency will also represent the UK in European and international forums. Dr David Williams, the Director General of the British National Space Centre (BNSC), will be the acting CEO from 1 April 2010.

A competition will be held to fill the new post of CEO for the UK Space Agency later this year. The agency will begin its role from 1 April 2010, so all 2009/10 budgets resided with existing BNSC partners and not the agency.

In 2010/11, the estimated budget is £230 million, but this is subject to final negotiations with existing BNSC partners.

The resources for 2010/11 will be drawn from programmes in BIS, the Technology Strategy Board, the Natural Environment Research Council, the Science and Technology Facilities Council, DEFRA, DfT and MOD.

Budgets beyond 2010/11 have not yet been set.

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills what the cost of launching the UK Space Agency was; and what the cost of developing the Agency's (a) website and (b) logo was. (324903)

The direct cost of creating the new UK Space Agency and re-branding the British National Space Centre is £46,500, relating to the launch event itself—note that this event also included the launch of the Government response to the Space IGT—the development of the logo, the protection of trademarks on the name and logo within the UK, and the website revamp. Of this £46,500, £1,000 was to revamp the website for its launch by 1 April, and £18,000 was for the logo design and its protection.

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills whether his Department commissioned external organisations to assist with the launch of the UK Space Agency. (325459)

Yes, the Department for Business Innovation and Skills commissioned external organisations to assist with the launch of the UK Space Agency. These organisations helped handle interview requests from national, regional and trade media; and also captured video and photos of the event which will be used in future publications and online.