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Presentation on potential satellite vertical launch centre site at Sutherland County Committee

23rd February 2018

As part of the Sutherland County Committee on Tuesday 27 February 2018 members will be given a presentation from HIE about a potential vertical launch centre for satellites in Sutherland.

The UK Space Agency (UKSA) is currently considering a number of potential sites as a vertical launch centre for satellites. There are three possible locations in the Highlands and Islands - one at The Moine in Sutherland and others in Shetland and the Outer Hebrides.

Roy Kirk of HIE noted that their area team has been exploring the potential of the Sutherland site for a couple of years now, including holding several meetings with UKSA, and with companies that could invest in and use such a facility. Roy said: "This is a lengthy and detailed exercise that will take several years to come to fruition. However Sutherland meets the criteria for satellite launches and, as the region's economic development agency, we are clearly interested in investigating any project that has the potential to create skilled and well-paid employment, and generate wider economic and community benefits. At the same time, it's important that we understand all of the impacts a development such as this could have. I look forward to meeting the County Committee on Tuesday, and providing an update."

Chair of the Committee Cllr Linda Munro said: "This is an important topic and I know local people and other interested parties will want to fully understand the proposal and its implications. Anyone who would like to know more is very welcome to come to the Committee meeting which is held in public to listen, along with the Councillors, to the presentation to find out more about this proposal at this early stage what it entails and implications for the local area."

She added: “Should it progress to formal planning, it’s also vital that local people are able to access full information and have a say through public consultation and I know Members will be very happy to hear people’s views should a Planning Application be made."

The Committee takes place from 10.30am on Tuesday at the Council Offices in Drummuie. The agenda is now available of The Highland Council’s website -

Members of the public are welcome to come along to observe but there will not be an opportunity to ask questions or discuss any of the items during the meeting.

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