The agency said projects could be integrated with 5G networks for upgraded infrastructure that enables new services such as drones, driverless haulage and space-based networks that could rival cable-based terrestrial ones.

Britain is currently the leading non-US manufacturer of satellites, with 47,000 people employed in its space industry and plans to develop multiple potential microlaunch sites, including two vertical launchpads in Scotland.

Companies receiving the new funding could help to pave the way for services that can provide better-quality connectivity in remote and hard-to-reach places; higher bandwidth; lower latency, and increased security.

The government has previously been warned that rural areas that cannot access superfast internet speeds will be left behind the rest of the country if this administration fails to ramp up its broadband infrastructure plans.

George Freeman, UK minister for space, said: “Developing UK space capabilities and...