Councillors vote to spark space race campaign in Moray

Fight to bring satellite launches to Moray begins

Ensuring that the UK’s first ever spaceport is created in Moray has become an economic priority with Councillors agreeing a unified response to government consultations.

Of the eight sites named on a shortlist of candidates being considered as the home for the new spaceport two are in Moray – at RAF Lossiemouth and Kinloss Barracks.

Preliminary consultations are now under way and following a motion by Elgin councillor Graham Leadbitter seconded by Keith councillor Gary Coull, the local authority’s economic development and infrastructure committee has agreed that the Moray Economic Partnership should take the lead in responding.

Committee chairman Councillor John Cowe, who also chairs the economic partnership, said: “The advent of a spaceport would be a fantastic business opportunity for Moray-Speyside as a region and it is therefore appropriate that the Moray Economic Partnership, working with both the public and private sectors, prepares the response.

“Everyone in Moray will be working tremendously hard to persuade the government to locate the spaceport here if possible.”

Following Tuesday’s meeting Councillor Leadbitter said: “The development of a Spaceport Moray would give a massive boost to our local economy with inward investment by technology companies, increased work for service and support companies and a great means to attract and retain high value jobs to our region.

“The Council has stated that a spaceport in Moray is an important economic priority, which supports our wider economic strategy.

“In the past support from council administrations in Moray has been sketchy to say the least, with some describing the idea as ‘pie in the sky’ – but I am pleased they have now got behind this SNP motion to do all that we can to make Moray the choice for a spaceport and put us at the forefront of the development of new space technology.”

Councillor Coull added: “Space travel presents a massive opportunity to sell Moray to the world.

“If we can attract investment in a spaceport here then that would undoubtedly be a unique selling point for us and would attract space enthusiasts for around the world.

“Of course when they come, they will also want to enjoy the other things Moray can offer such as our food and drink, amazing environment and fantastic entertainment.

“There is a huge amount to be gained and we need to work as hard as possible to make Spaceport Moray a reality.”

The proposed consultation response will be considered by the Moray Economic Partnership on September 2 and the next meeting of the economic development and infrastructure services committee on September 30 before being submitted to the government by the October 6 deadline.

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