Hopes that Moray may yet be considered as the home of a future spaceport were rekindled this week as Councillors were told the fight would go on.
That was despite the military bases at Kinloss and Lossiemouth being dismissed in a surprise decision by the UK Government last month, when the Moray locations were cited as of having too great an importance for defence for them to be consider as suitable.
However, chairman of the Moray Economic Partnership, John Cowe, revealed this week that the fight would go on with an appeal against the decision already having been lodged with defence secretary Michael Fallon.
Speaking at the economic development and infrastructure committee, which he also chairs, Councillor Cowe confirmed that he wrote to Mr Fallon on March 10, saying: “I did not get a response back from Michael Fallon – you may blame the situation we are in at the moment with purdah, but I think we would agree that we are extremely disappointed that neither Kinloss nor Lossiemouth made the shortlist.”
Councillor Cowe added that it was not expected that Lossiemouth would have been considered suitable and that had been reflected in the Moray Economic Partnership bid – however, it was felt that Kinloss was “very high up the ladder” in terms of its capability to home a spaceport.
He said: “The fact that my letter has not been replied to by Michael Fallon does leave the door open and I would certainly propose that the Moray Economic Partnership continues to fight the case for Moray.”
Councillor Cowe received support from Elgin councillor Graham Leadbitter, who said: “It is one of these situations where you can but try – and I think we should keep trying until there is no alternative.”