CALLS FOR MORAY to be reconsidered as a venue for a future UK space programme have been renewed by the convener of the local Green Party.
The call came from James MacKessack-Leitch at the end of the Scottish Greens annual conference on Sunday, where members adopted a ground-breaking set of policies designed to support a space industry in Scotland.
Recognising the importance of continued space exploration and laying out a “first step” to the building of a “sensibly regulated Scottish space industry that leads to high-skilled jobs”, the policy looks for the development of new technology.
Mr MacKessack-Leitch said: “I’m delighted that the Scottish Greens have adopted a flexible and responsible approach to this fledgling industry, and the massive potential it brings.
“While there are rightly concerns about environmental impacts and the potential for space tourism to become an exclusive plaything of the super-rich, now is the time to start seriously thinking about how we can make sure the benefits of the space industry are widely felt and how our communities are involved.
“Moray in particular has excellent potential as a launch pad for space flights from Kinloss or Lossiemouth, and I will continue to call on the Ministry of Defence to rethink its opposition to using the bases, so that rather than missing the opportunity, we can begin to build a world leading civilian space industry that will help secure our long term prosperity.”
Lossiemouth has been discounted as a candidate for a future UK Spaceport because of its importance and continued use as a frontline fighter airbase, while Kinloss Barracks was also discounted with the Ministry of Defence objecting to its use for reasons that are believed to be connected with a future maritime air role returning to the base.
Moray Council and the Moray Economic Partnership refused to accept the rejection of Kinloss and Lossiemouth, issuing a letter in March that called on the reconsideration of Kinloss in particular.