Norfolk and Suffolk are set to form a new space cluster as they tap into the fast-growing hi-tech market.

New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) has secured £163k from the UK Space Agency to enable companies across the two counties to add their expertise to the highly lucrative industry.

The global space market is expected to grow from £270bn to £490bn by 2030 and the aim is to create a space cluster of businesses, organisations and investors in the region by focusing on high impact projects.

It will build on the region's communications & IT, and marine science space technology expertise - and its clean growth sectors such as renewable energy, communications and IT and agri-tech.

The region's hi-tech bosses have welcomed the funding.

Innovation hubs including Adastral Park near Ipswich, Norwich Research Park, Lowestoft-based Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (CEFAS) and Orbis Energy, Hethel Innovation, University of East Anglia and University of Suffolk are already driving new technological innovations. 

Adastral's head of research realisation Lisa Perkins said the UK Space Agency funding presented "a great opportunity".

"Adastral will act to convene the experts and resources to shape the regional space cluster strategy in tandem with the LEP and to enable the successful implementation of the benefits," she said.

The LEP has already invested in space tech businesses such as Gravitilab on Scottow Enterprise Park in Norfolk.

"It’s fantastic news that the UK Space Agency is supporting development of the Norfolk and Suffolk Space Cluster,” said its boss, Rob Adlard.

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Roz Bird, boss of Anglia Innovation Partnership (AIP), which manages Norwich Research Park, said a Norfolk and Suffolk Space Cluster "makes eminent sense".

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A Space Cluster development manager for Norfolk and Suffolk will be appointed to establish the cluster and attract inward investment. 

Julian Munson, head of enterprise zones and innovation at the LEP, said the counties could become a UK leader in space communications and data by using existing assets such as Adastral Park.

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He invited businesses to contact the LEP to become a part of the cluster by emailing him at

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