The UK Government has announced that funding for a proposed vertical launch spaceport has been awarded to a site in Sutherland following a bidding process involving applications from across the UK.
The UK Space Agency has awarded Highlands and Islands Enterprise £2.5 million in funding to develop the site, which it hopes will be able to facilitate the vertical launch of space rockets and satellites to boost the UK’s thriving space industry.
Highlands and Islands Enterprise has already been working closely with the American aerospace firm Lockheed Martin who have also welcomed the announcement.
Highlands and Islands MSP Donald Cameron said:
“This is extremely positive news and yet another example of how much the UK Government values the Highlands.
The commercial space sector is estimated to be worth around £3.8 billion to the UK economy over the next ten years, and I welcome the fact that Scotland will play a big part in developing that new market.
Indeed, this spaceport will create thousands of new skilled jobs, and I believe it could be a catalyst in reversing the trend of depopulation that many parts of the Highlands and Islands have had to face.
I look forward to working with the UK Government and HIE to see this incredible project come to fruition.”