UK Space Agency has allocated £2m ($2.53m) in funding for future spaceports to support small satellite launch plans and sub-orbital flight.

Work on sub-orbital flights, spaceplane and small satellite launches are already being commenced in sites such as Campbeltown and Glasgow Prestwick in Scotland, Newquay in Cornwall, and Snowdonia in Wales.

The strategic development funds will allow such sites in accelerating their future projects.

Science Minister Chris Skidmore said: “The UK space sector is thriving, and horizontal spaceflight is an exciting prospect, which could provide services to our world-leading small satellite industry as well as international customers and space tourists.

“This new fund will help develop ambitious proposals to enable spaceplanes and aircraft capable of deploying satellites to operate from future UK spaceports, as part of the government’s modern industrial strategy.”

Potential spaceports can submit applications to receive funds for carrying out research on new spaceflight technologies.

Spaceports receiving the grant can use the funds in their research to develop an individual business case for offering horizontal launch services in the early 2020s.

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“This fund provides a chance for UK spaceports to take the initiative and become global leaders in this field.”

Aviation Minister Baroness Vere said: “The UK’s spaceflight expertise means we are ready to thrive in the new space age, encouraging innovation and creating jobs.

“This fund provides a chance for UK spaceports to take the initiative and become global leaders in this field.”

Last July, the government announced support for the development of a vertical spaceport in Scotland, as a part of its £50m ($63.29m) spaceflight programme.