Lease option agreed for Space Hub Sutherland
1st August 2019
The owners of land earmarked for the Space Hub Sutherland development on the Moine Peninsula have agreed a lease option with developer, Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE).
Representatives of Melness Crofters Estate (MCE) and HIE signed the agreement yesterday (Wednesday 31 July). It secures the option for HIE to lease the land once planning consent for the project has been granted.
HIE is leading the development, with a £2.5m grant from the UK Space Agency (UKSA), which is also funding two launch companies that plan to use the facility.
Design work and scoping for environmental impact studies are well underway. This will form part of the planning application being prepared to obtain consent in time for construction to start in 2020.
Roy Kirk, HIE's Space Hub Sutherland project director, said:
"Space Hub Sutherland development is expected to generate many social and economic benefits for different parts of the region. We have maintained constructive dialogue with the Melness Crofters Estate throughout the process. We are very grateful to them for their input and co-operation and welcome this key stage in the project."
Dorothy Pritchard, MCE chair said:"We look forward to continuing our links with HIE, and to working with the launch companies and site operator to maximise job opportunities and community benefits for our area. We know there is a long way to go and that the next step is to go through to the planning stage. Like everyone else, we want to make sure the environmental and safety aspects of the proposed development are thoroughly examined and fully addressed as part of the process."
Claire Barcham, commercial space director, UKSA, said:
"The UK government's Spaceflight Programme aims to help establish commercial launch from the UK and help ensure we play a leading role in the New Space Age.
“The agreement of the Spaceport Sutherland lease hold option is an important milestone and brings us one step closer to realising this ambition."
In March this year HIE appointed architectural firm, NORR Consultants, to lead on producing designs for the space hub. The agency is also working to secure a commercial operator for the facility.
Businesses in the Highlands and Islands looking to boost their productivity and competitiveness through Internet of Things (IoT) technology, are being offered the chance to hear from industry experts. Internet of Things technology enables devices, such as everyday objects, machinery and systems to connect to the internet.
The Tune into Tourism team recognise that the last few months will undoubtedly have been the most difficult experienced to date as a tourism business owner. We are concerned not only for the welfare of each and every business, but also their owners and operators.
Mr Dodds joined the board of HIE in 2014 and became Deputy Chair in 2018. He has also chaired the development agency's risk and assurance committee for the past four years and represented HIE on the board of the University of the Highlands and Islands.
Message From HIE To Businesses. Last week, we contacted you to make you aware of new COVID-19 business funds that had been made available, following the Scottish Government's announcement of an additional £100m support for businesses impacted by COVID-19.
From Highland and Islands Enterprise. Further to Economy Secretary Fiona Hyslop's announcement this morning that the Scottish Government's additional £100m fund for businesses impacted by COVID-19 will be open for applications from 2pm, we wanted to provide you with more information about this support.
We would like to reassure you that HIE is doing all it can to gather information and work with Scottish Government to ensure that the appropriate support is reaching our communities and local economy. We hope to soon have more detail about how to access the recently announced Scottish Government grants to help communities affected by Covid19 https://www.gov.scot/news/helping-communities-affected-by-covid-19 You will have seen new headlines emerging daily at a national and UK level with proposed measures to help individuals, businesses and communities.
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