£18m For OneWeb Satellite Constellation To Deliver Global Communications

Affordable worldwide internet coverage is one step closer today, after £18 million of UK Space Agency funding was awarded to OneWeb through the European Space Agency, to aid the development of its next generation satellite constellation

Artist's impression of OneWeb satellite constellation. Credit: Airbus

Artist’s impression of OneWeb satellite constellation. Credit: Airbus

A global communications network in space, the system will be comprised of approximately 650 satellites initially and scale to more than 900 satellites over time.

Science Minister Chris Skidmore is visiting the European Space Agency in the Netherlands today. He will say:

Fast internet access is something many people take for granted but in many areas of the world connectivity is still hit and miss.

This new £18m investment will go towards meeting the significant technical challenges of the project, putting the UK at the forefront of cutting-edge research and development.

The commercial potential for a cost effective worldwide telecoms satellite system is huge, and the UK space sector is playing a leading role in delivering it. It is made possible by our ongoing commitment to the European Space Agency and our world-leading capabilities in space and telecommunications, which we are supporting through our modern Industrial Strategy.

UK business OneWeb, which is headquartered in London and will employ up to 200 staff at its’ White City offices, is poised to take advantage of cost effective spacecraft launch and manufacturing to deploy hundreds of satellites that could provide more affordable internet connectivity to people and businesses across the world.

The OneWeb Sunrise programme will initially focus on technologies for the next generation of satellite payloads, ground connections and space debris removal.

The UK Space Agency investment will also support novel automation techniques and artificial intelligence to manage the proposed constellation of spacecraft and its interaction with terrestrial networks to realise global 5G connectivity.

Adrian Steckel, CEO, OneWeb said:

Providing access to people everywhere has been the mission and vision of OneWeb since the very beginning. We will be able to realize this vision in part because of important partnerships like this one with the UK Space Agency, ESA and a range of other important partners including our European and Canadian partners. Thanks to this support, we will focus together on next generation technologies that will be game changers for realizing global 5G connectivity.

We are excited about the application of artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies to develop novel automation techniques that could help manage our constellation in future and ensure we do so safely and responsibly so that we can protect space for future generations.

Today’s announcement comes as a result of the UK’s leading investment in the European Space Agency’s telecommunications research programme (ARTES).

ESA is independent of the European Union and hosts its European Centre for Space Applications and Telecommunications (ECSAT) in Harwell, Oxfordshire, furthering the UK’s world-leading position in satellite communications.

Magali Vaissiere, ESA Director of Telecommunications and Integrated Applications said:

Sunrise is a prominent endeavour falling under our Satellite for 5G Initiative.

It represents the exciting and required new direction ESA is taking in support of our Member States’ industry to remain at the forefront of not only the most advanced developments within the space world, but also to enable the necessary complement to the terrestrial networks that satellites will have to play to ensure a successful and fully inclusive digitalisation of industry and society.

This ESA project will span seven nations including Canada and is an example of how the UK will continue to work across Europe and globally.

The news comes as the first batch of 10 satellites of the OneWeb constellation are due to be launched on an Arianespace Soyuz rocket from Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana next week (26 February).

The UK is a world leader in telecommunications satellites. Last month EUTELSAT QUANTUM, the first satellite capable of being completely reprogrammed after launch left the UK for final assembly and testing in France.

And in November last year, Eutelsat and Airbus signed a new contract worth hundreds of millions of pounds that will see components and parts for two further communications satellites assembled in the UK. This means that 6 out of 7 of the company’s next satellites will be partially built in Britain.

The UK space sector is growing rapidly, employing 42,000 people and playing a major role in the global shift towards the commercialisation of space activities – known as ‘New Space’.

The UK space industry is commercially focused with 82% of income from sales to consumers and businesses. The latest industry figures show it has an income of £14.8 billion, employment of 41,900 and exports worth £5.5 billion, while supporting a further £300 of UK GDP through the provision of satellite services to other sectors.

2019 Burns Night Celebrated In Tashkent

On 13 February Her Majesty’s Ambassador to Uzbekistan Mr Christopher Allan hosted a Burns Night in Tashkent

Burns Night Welcome Speech

Burns Night Welcome Speech

On 13 February Her Majesty’s Ambassador Mr Christopher Allan organised a reception to mark the birthday of the great Scottish poet Sir Robert Burns. This is commemorated as ‘Burns Night’ and it is an important event in the Scottish calendar. At Burns Nights events, guests commemorate the poet’s legacy, read his poems, dance to traditional Scottish music and are treated with traditional Scottish food, including haggis and cock-a-leekie soup.

Over a hundred guests attended the Burns Night event in Tashkent. This gave them an excellent opportunity to learn more about the poet’s life and work, as well as Scottish culture, food and beverages, literature and traditions. During the festivities, many of Burn’s poems were recited, where he conveys his passion for life, humanity, justice and for making the world a better place.

The Ambassador gave a speech about Burns’ great legacy and interesting facts related to his works.

Robert Burns was born on the 25 January 1759, 260 years ago today. He is still celebrated today as Scotland’s national poet and lyricist, and by far the best known to have written in the Scots dialect. His works span themes ranging from love to politics and philosophy, and these and his rural, working class roots make his poetry particularly meaningful to many around the globe.

Sileby Company Placed Into Provisional Liquidation

Company based in Sileby, Leicestershire, has been placed in provisional liquidation following an investigation by the Insolvency Service

Parliament Street

Parliament Street

The order placing TMF Services Ltd into provisional liquidation followed a hearing at the High Court on 14 February 2019 of an application issued by the Insolvency Service on behalf of the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

The company is concerned with trading in non-ferrous, precious and scrap metals, as well as recycled cardboard, clothing and fabrics.

The Official Receiver has been appointed the provisional liquidator and has responsibilities to protect assets in the possession or under the control of the company pending the determination of the petition.

The provisional liquidator has the power to investigate the affairs of the company as necessary to protect assets including any third party, or trust monies, or assets in the possession of, or under the control of the company.

The case is now subject to High Court action and no further information will be made available until the petition to wind up the company is heard in the High Court on 29 April 2019.

All public enquiries concerning the affairs of the company should be made to: The Official Receiver, Public Interest Unit, 2 Floor, 3 Piccadilly Place, London Road, Manchester, M1 3BN or to piu.north@insolvency.gsi.gov.uk.

Brokenshire Champions Parks With Over £13 Million New Funding

Councils across the country are to benefit from more than £13 million funding to breathe new life in to our green spaces for the benefit of all



  • Government announces £9.7 million for local authorities to improve their parks and green spaces
  • A further £2.75 million confirmed for the Pocket parks plus programme
  • £1.2 million invested in the National Trust and The National Lottery Heritage Fund’s Future Parks Accelerator initiative

Councils across the country are to benefit from more than £13 million funding to breathe new life in to our green spaces for the benefit of all, Communities Secretary Rt Hon James Brokenshire MP confirmed today (Sunday 17 February).

From day-to-day maintenance costs to essential playground repairs and the creation of new green spaces, £9.7 million of new funding will give local leaders and communities resources to better maintain, protect and increase their recreational spaces.

An additional £2.75 million will also be made available for the pocket parks plus programme to support communities to take the lead in transforming their neglected and derelict spaces.

A further £1.2 million has been provided to the National Trust and The National Lottery Heritage Fund’s Future Parks Accelerator initiative. The partnership supports local authorities to test new and innovative approaches to managing and funding parks, ensuring the benefits of public parks and green spaces are enjoyed by future generations.

With this latest set of actions, this government reaffirms its commitment to creating great places to live and work and ensure communities are able to enjoy the benefits parks and green spaces bring to local life.

Communities Secretary, Rt Hon James Brokenshire MP said:

Our parks and green spaces are huge assets to our towns and cities, offering precious spaces for all of us to get together, to exercise and to play.

This latest funding will support bold proposals to help renovate and restore existing parks and create new vibrant, safe green spaces for our communities.

The future of our nation’s parks is an issue close to all our hearts and we will do all we can to preserve these vital green lungs that breathe life into our communities.

Today’s announcement builds on action the government has already taken to encourage more people to make better use of parks including:

  • creating the £1 million ‘pocket parks’ fund to help communities transform neglected and derelict spaces and establish over 80 new green spaces in urban areas across the country
  • extending the Green Flag Award licence by a further five years in September 2017 means the people behind Britain’s best parks and green spaces will continue to be recognised and awarded for their tireless dedication

The government will continue to work with the Parks Action Group, which represents leaders from across the parks sector, to help ensure that current and future generations can continue to access safe, high quality and local parks.

Kosovo National Day

U.S. Department of State

U.S. Department of State

On behalf of the United States government and the American people, I congratulate Kosovo as you celebrate your eleventh anniversary as a sovereign, independent nation.

The United States remains committed to helping Kosovo open the doors to a more prosperous, stable, and secure future in your second decade of independence. Comprehensive normalization of relations with Serbia, with mutual recognition as its centerpiece, will be essential to Kosovo’s success. Securing this vision also demands continued strides to strengthen your democratic institutions. We want to keep building on our bilateral partnership, based on shared values and priorities, helping Kosovo pave its way to further Western integration.

The United States values the strong bond between our people and will support the steps of those working to unleash Kosovo’s great potential.


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