Plans approved for £17m Space Hub Sutherland in UK
August 21, 2020 – Highland Council in the UK has approved plans for a £17.3m satellite launching site, named Space Hub Sutherland, in the north Highlands of Scotland.
The proposal was submitted to the area’s local authority in February 2020 by development agency Highlands & Islands Enterprise (HIE) to create Space Hub Sutherland in the south of Tongue.
Expected to create around 250 jobs, the Space Hub Sutherland will be developed on land, which is owned by Melness Crofters Estate on the A’ Mhòine peninsula.
Scottish Government Innovation Minister Ivan McKee said: “This is the first of Scotland’s spaceport projects to clear the planning process and it represents a significant step forward for both the project and Scotland’s aspiration to offer the full end to end capability for manufacturing and launching small satellites and analysing their data.
“The space sector has a key role to play in the fight against global climate change and this milestone has been achieved through the hard work of the Sutherland team in partnership with the local community, leading experts and public bodies.”
The project is backed by financing from the UK Space Agency and the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority.
UK Space Agency CEO Graham Turnock said: “Growing our domestic launch capability will bring new jobs and investments to communities in all corners of the UK.
“Space Hub Sutherland is an integral part of these plans and today’s news strengthens our position as Europe’s leading destination for small satellite launches.”
Once commissioned, the site allows small commercial satellites and launch vehicles designed and manufactured in Scotland to take off.
The spaceport, which is approved to undertake up to 12 launches a year, will feature a control centre, 2.5km of road and a launch pad.