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Crofters backing Highland space hub plans in Sutherland hailed by Ross MSP Maree Todd following site visit as Scottish Government eyes £4 billion share of global market

By Hector MacKenzie

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HIGHLAND crofters looking to the sky for development oppotunities have been hailed by a Ross-shire MSP following a site visit to a proposed space hub.

The Scottish Government launched its Scottish Space Strategy last month, announcing an ambitious plan to secure a £4 billion share of the global space market for the economy, making Scotland the "nation of choice" for national and international space customers.

The strategy details plans for satellite launch sites, including The Moine site in Sutherland, often referred to as Sutherland Space Hub.

Caithness, Sutherland and Ross MSP Maree Todd visited the site of the Sutherland Space Hub proposal where she met Melness Crofters Estate’s, Dorothy Pritchard to learn more about the project and discuss the community benefits.

Highlands and Islands Enterprise anticipate that the hub will create 61 highly skilled jobs in the Caithness and Sutherland, estimating the figure will multiple to 250 jobs at a regional level.

Maree Todd said: “It was fantastic to meet with Dorothy Pritchard of the Melness Crofters Estate, whose determination, along with a community of crofters, has got us to where we are today with the space hub development.

“There is no doubt that the Sutherland Space Hub will offer community benefit in abundance, helping to stem depopulation in both Sutherland and Caithness by bringing highly skilled jobs to the area, putting the North on the map as an innovator in space technology."

She added: “At the core of the Scottish Space Strategy is a firm commitment to green technologies and sustainable environmental practices. Scotland has ambitious net-zero targets and it’s vital that the space sector, which has the potential to be a major industry in Scotland, is aligned with this.

“COP26 drew the world’s attention to the challenges we face due to climate change, but it is also highlighted Scotland’s carbon reduction efforts, which amongst Western European countries, are second only to Sweden.

“However, being proud of Scotland’s progress so far does not mean ignoring the scale of the challenge that remains. Ending our contribution to climate change within a generation will require transformational change across all parts of the economy and society.

“All of us will need to challenge ourselves to do even more and the Scottish Government will support citizens and business in Scotland and globally to make these changes.”

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