Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Work on Sutherland spaceport could lift off before year’s end

The proposed Space Hub Sutherland.
The proposed Space Hub Sutherland.

Construction of Europe’s first vertical launch spaceport in Sutherland could start this year, after a planning application for the controversial development was submitted to Highland Council.

Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE), which is leading the £17.3million project, has predicted it will create around 61 “high quality” jobs in the Far North and a 250 across the region.

If its application is approved, the development agency expects the first rocket carrying small satellites into orbit from the A’ Mhoine peninsula to blast off in less than two years’ time. It is anticipated the site will reach its capacity of 12 launches a year by 2024.

The proposed Space Hub in Sutherland

HIE delayed submitting the application at the end of last year to make alterations to earlier plans after feedback from local people and statutory consultees.

Designed by NORR Architects, the Space Hub Sutherland facility will comprise a control centre, a single launch pad and infrastructure including roadways, fuel storage, office premises and antennas.

David Oxley, HIE’s director of business growth, said: “This is a truly unique and innovative venture that aims to create the first launch site of its kind in Europe.

“Space presents a huge economic opportunity for Scotland, and the Highlands and Islands is well placed to benefit substantially.”

He continued: “We’re very mindful of the need to respect the natural environment and have been diligent in designing measures that will minimise the environmental impact of construction and operations.

“We’ve also held numerous public events and the current shape of the project has been informed by the views of local people and statutory consultees. Now that the application is in, we very much hope that people will take the time to study our plans carefully and look forward to the council making a decision in due course.”

Mr Oxley added that there was “great potential” for similar developments in other parts of the Highlands and Islands.

A spokesman for the Protect the Mhoine group, which opposes the project, said it would examine the 95 documents in the planning application before commenting.

Already a subscriber? Sign in

[[title]]

[[text]]