Guidance: Fuel Security Code

Published 8 February 2013
Last updated 6 November 2019 + show all updates
  1. From 1 April 2019 there is a legal separation of powers between the National Grid Transmission Owner (TO) and National Grid Systems Operator (SO). This document has been updated to reflect the new role of the National Grid Electricity System Operator (ESO).
  2. First published.

National Statistics: Building materials and components statistics: October 2019

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Press release: UK Space Agency confirms £7.35 million funding to support small satellite launch from Cornwall

The UK Space Agency will award £7.35 million to Virgin Orbit UK Limited, the UK branch of US launch operator Virgin Orbit, to enable horizontal launch of small satellites at Cornwall Airport Newquay, it was confirmed today (Tuesday 5 November).

The funding will help to develop advanced ground support equipment, including UK-based manufacturing of key equipment, and conduct mission planning. Together with funding from the Cornwall Council for spaceport infrastructure, this grant helps secure the first satellite launch from Spaceport Cornwall, which Virgin Orbit are planning for the early 2020s, pending regulatory approvals.

Spaceport Cornwall estimates a horizontal launch spaceport at Cornwall Airport Newquay could create 150 immediate jobs, with additional opportunities for local businesses in directly supporting the site.

Science Minister, Chris Skidmore said:

We want the UK to be the first country in Europe to give its small satellite manufacturers a clear route from the factory to the spaceport. That’s why it’s so important that we are developing new infrastructure to allow aircraft to take off and deploy satellites, a key capability that the UK currently lacks.

Today’s announcement will help the UK to harness the commercial opportunities offered by the global space industry and put the UK firmly on the map as Europe’s leading launch destination.

Access to space is a vital tool for global efforts to tackle climate change, as satellites give the science community key measurements of temperature, sea levels and ice cover, while improving management of natural resources. The government is clear that launch activities must not unduly affect the environment and independent research carried out by the University of Exeter demonstrates that Spaceport Cornwall is not expected to have a significant impact on Cornwall’s overall greenhouse gas emissions and efforts to combat climate change.

The UK Space Agency originally announced its intention to award funding to Spaceport Cornwall and Virgin Orbit in June, subject to approval, as part of a wider £20 million funding package from Cornwall Council and the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership. Today’s announcement by the UK Space Agency follows the completion of the necessary due diligence and conclusion of the grant agreement with Virgin Orbit UK Limited. Cornwall Council are expected to confirm whether they will award £10 million capital funding to the project at a council meeting later this month.

This new funding will complement the recent award of £300,000 from the UK Space Agency’s targeted development fund to further support Cornwall’s ambition to be a centre for future flight technologies.

Pending regulatory approvals in the US and UK, Virgin Orbit plan to operate its LauncherOne system from Cornwall Airport Newquay using a modified Boeing 747 jet to carry the launcher system. Virgin Orbit will make its own contribution to the project of around £2.5 million, with the company’s launch activities helping to attract new business and investment opportunities, as well as inspire the next generation of scientists and engineers.

Dan Hart, CEO of Virgin Orbit, said:

We’re tremendously excited to be supporting the UK Space Agency and Cornwall Council by bringing space launch to the UK. By establishing a strong local hub for our launch system, this joint project will boost UK participation in a fast-growing global space economy while also providing direct, ready, and responsive access to space for government missions.

We very much look forward to furthering our ties with the cutting-edge satellite innovators across the UK and with local industry, who will be critical partners in fulfilling the full potential of this endeavour.

We’re eager to set up a world-class launch facility at Spaceport Cornwall, bring domestic space launch to the UK, and launch the next generation of satellite developers in their quest to better understand our Earth and our environment, connect human kind, serve national security, and explore our solar system.

Minister for the Future of Transport, George Freeman said:

This latest investment in Spaceport Cornwall and Virgin Orbit is the exciting result of Government and the aerospace sector working together to help potential spaceports realise their global ambitions.

The UK is a world leader in small satellite technology and we are committed to supporting the UK as a world leader in space technology, and establishing a network of spaceports that enables us to operate regular flights is key to that.

To help grow the UK’s spaceflight capabilities, Government is funding a range of industry-led projects including £31.5 million to help establish launch services from a new vertical launch spaceport in Sutherland, Scotland.

Coast to Capital Growth Grant Programme 2019-2020

How much you can get

Capital Grants of between £40,000 and £170,000 (up to 40% of project costs).

Who it’s for

Established businesses in the Croydon, Brighton and Hove, Lewes, Epsom and Ewell, Mole Volley, Reigate and Banstead, Tandridge, Chichester, Arun, Mid Sussex, Crawley, Worthing, Adur, and Horsham areas.

What you can get

The grants can be used to buy or develop innovative capital assets which will improve your productivity and profit margins and help your business to grow.

Innovative capital assets might include:

  • new design instruments
  • manufacturing machinery
  • bespoke software
Find out more on the Coast to Capital LEP website

Published 5 November 2019

Impact assessment: Offshore Petroleum Regulator for Environment and Decommissioning (OPRED): Business Impact Target

As a regulator of the Offshore Oil and Gas industry, the Offshore Petroleum Regulator for Environment and Decommissioning (OPRED) is required to publish an assessment of the economic impact on business of changes to regulatory policies and practices which are in scope of the Business Impact Target (BIT).

OPRED is required to publish:-

  • BIT assessments for qualifying regulatory provisions (QRPs) along with the BIT score.
  • A summary of non-qualifying regulatory provisions (NQRPs), that fall within the administrative exclusions set out in the written ministerial statement.

An independent verification body, the Regulatory Policy Committee (RPC) has been appointed to validate the estimates of the economic impact on business for the QRPs.


Information regarding any applicable OPRED QRPs will be published together with other BEIS departmental measures (as appropriate).


See attachments above.

Corporate report: Business impact target (BIT): report 2017 to 2019

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Press release: International partnership opportunities for UK research and innovation

  • Independent report sets out new opportunities to boost international partnerships on research and innovation
  • the government will seek to maintain a close relationship with Europe on research and innovation
  • continued international collaboration is vital to the UK remaining a global science superpower, tackling the world’s Grand Challenges and attracting and retaining the talent we need

A new, independent report has been published today (Tuesday 5 November) by Professor Sir Adrian Smith and Professor Graeme Reid, which sets out the new opportunities for the UK to extend its international collaborations.

International collaborations are fundamental to the UK maintaining its position as a global science superpower. These partnerships are helping to meaningfully tackle global challenges like climate change, life-threatening diseases, and the world’s ageing society, as well as advancing technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI) that could transform whole industries.

The government will also consider associating to Horizon Europe, the EU’s future science, research and innovation programme. This reflects the government’s desire to maintain a close relationship with Europe and globally on science and research funding whatever the circumstances.

Science Minister Chris Skidmore said:

The UK is a global science superpower, and this deserved reputation helps deliver real economic and social benefits right across the country.

International collaboration allows the UK to work at a greater scale than we could do alone, with unique partnerships from helping find new cures for life-threatening diseases to developing cleaner transport.

Participating in Horizon programmes opens the door for businesses and research institutions to work with our European partners on the next big breakthroughs. But we should also be looking beyond Europe and seeking new relationships around the world.

The publication of Sir Adrian Smith and Professor Graeme Reid’s report today provides independent advice which we will consider carefully. Their work will inform our thinking and help support our continued ambition to be at the cutting-edge of research and innovation.

The new report by Sir Adrian Smith and Professor Graeme Reid provides a range of principles and ideas, setting out potential opportunities for the UK to extend its international collaborations globally and strengthen current partnerships, including options in the event the UK does not stay fully part of European funding programmes. In any case, the government is firmly committed to protecting, preserving and enhancing cutting-edge international science collaboration.

This includes options for:

  • protecting and enhancing the UK’s science, research and innovation base, including through building R&D capacity across the UK
  • increasing the agility of research funding to react to new and unexpected international opportunities
  • striding towards the government’s commitment to increase research and development (R&D) investment to at least 2.4% of GDP by 2027 including attracting foreign direct investment to the UK
  • developing a Global Talent Strategy to attract and retain a wide range of scientific talent in the UK

Professor Graeme Reid said:

The recent creation of UKRI; the government’s commitment to raise overall levels of R&D investment in the UK to at least 2.4% of GDP; and high levels of international R&D activity in business, research institutes and universities make it timely to review current arrangements with a view to developing a bold new vision for UK research and innovation.

Government Chief Scientific Advisor Sir Patrick Vallance said:

Research and innovation are essential for economic growth and to help tackle societal challenges and opportunities. As this report makes clear, international collaboration is absolutely fundamental to the strength of the UK’s research and innovation sector and always has been.

The report focuses on what options there could be in the event that the UK does not stay fully part of the European funding system. It makes an important contribution in identifying how the UK could maintain and build on close relationships with our partners in Europe and around the world.

UK Research & Innovation (UKRI) Infrastructure Report published

Today UK Research & Innovation (UKRI) published its infrastructure report, which identifies investment opportunities across the UK and internationally until 2030. The report will inform future funding decisions, ensuring investment in UK’s research and innovation will have the most beneficial impact for the UK and is translated into real-world opportunities.

The opportunities that the report sets out range from investing in biotechnology, to future transport solutions, to renewable energy sources.

Investing in R&D is critical for the future growth of the UK economy. It is estimated that more than half of the country’s productivity growth will be driven by new ideas, research and technology.

Building on the UK’s world class research strengths, the government has already reaffirmed its commitment to increase R&D investment by at least 2.4% of GDP by 2027. It has made a series of announcements to support researchers while retaining and attracting talent to the UK - including:

Notes to editors

Sir Adrian Smith’s report

Read the full report by Sir Adrian Smith.

Sir Adrian Smith was commissioned in March 2019 to provide independent advice on the design of potential future UK funding schemes for international collaboration on research and innovation. He was supported by Professor Graeme Reid, Chair of Science and Research Policy at UCL.

The report recommendations have been developed drawing from an extensive programme of stakeholder engagement. This included a written call for evidence and meetings held across all regions of the UK and in Brussels.

European Horizon programmes

This government has participated in negotiations with European partners in a positive spirit as Horizon Europe takes shape - and intends to consider associating to the programme if it provides value for money and is in the best interest of the UK. Any decision about associating to the programme will need to take place after both the Horizon Europe proposal and the Multiannual Financial Framework discussions have been completed in Council.

In the event of a no-deal exit from the European Union, the government has guaranteed funding for all successful competitive, eligible UK bids submitted to H2020 before the end of 2020. Separately, if the European Commission stops evaluating UK bids submitted before EU exit to the mono-beneficiary elements of the European Research Council, Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions and the SME Instrument (now known as the European Innovation Council Accelerator) mono-beneficiary schemes, then UKRI will take over the independent assessment of these proposals.

UKRI’s Infrastructure Report

Read the full UKRI Infrastructure Report UK’s research and innovation infrastructure: opportunities to grow our capability.

Commissioned by ministers following the Industrial Strategy Green Paper, the Infrastructure Report was developed by UKRI in consultation with the research and innovation community. It is intended as a strategic guide to inform future investment decisions and identification of priorities for the next-generation of R&D infrastructure to 2030. It identifies long term future research and innovation infrastructure capability themes and opportunities.

Independent report: Future frameworks for international collaboration on research and innovation: independent advice

In March 2019 Professor Sir Adrian Smith was commissioned by BEIS to provide independent advice on the design of future UK funding schemes for international collaboration, innovation and research.

In particular, Professor Sir Adrian was asked to advise on how funding future international collaboration, from curiosity-driven ‘discovery’ funding through to innovation, could best be designed to positively impact science, research and innovation in the UK. This would support the government’s strategic objectives, including the Industrial Strategy and its commitment to 2.4% of GDP invested in R&D by 2027.

Professor Graeme Reid from University College London worked with Sir Adrian during the preparation of this advice. The advice team held evidence gathering meetings across the UK and in Brussels.

Government will now consider this advice.

Call for evidence

To inform the advice, we launched a call for evidence which closed on 24 May.


4 November 2019: Written Ministerial Statement

26 March 2019 - news story: Professor Sir Adrian Smith appointed to provide advice on the future of European and international collaboration

26 March 2019 - Written Ministerial Statement

News story: Update on proposed acquisition of Cobham PLC by Advent International


On 25 July 2019, the boards of Cobham PLC and a subsidiary of funds managed by Advent International, a US private equity firm, announced that they had reached agreement on the terms of a recommend cash acquisition of Cobham for approximately £4 billion.

On 17 September 2019, following advice from relevant Government Departments and agencies, the Business Secretary Andrea Leadsom initiated a public interest intervention under the Enterprise Act 2002 into this merger on the grounds of national security. She required that the Competition and Markets Authority investigate the merger and provide her with a report on the transaction by 29 October, which it has done. The Secretary of State for Defence has also written to the Business Secretary about the national security implications of the merger and the discussions which have taken place with the parties to propose undertakings to address those implications. The Business Secretary is grateful for the advice she has received and the constructive engagement from the parties.

The decision on how to proceed in this case requires further full and proper consideration of the issues. Having received these reports, the Business Secretary will therefore have further discussions with her ministerial colleagues and the parties to the transaction to inform the decision-making process. An update will be provided in due course on the government’s decision. The full legal process will continue to be followed throughout the general election period.

Published 5 November 2019