Shetland MSP Tavish Scott has been appointed a director of Shetland Space Centre – the company behind plans to build a satellite launch site in Unst.
Mr Scott is one of several directors appointed to the company, according to papers published on Companies House today. His occupation is listed on the paperwork as Member of the Scottish Parliament.
When contacted by The Shetland Times this evening Mr Scott said he wanted to respond in writing with a “straightforward, utterly transparent explanation”. However, he declined to answer questions about the appointment and said he would send a statement.
In his written statement the MSP said: “I am delighted to have been asked to join the board of Shetland Space Centre Ltd. This unremunerated post will allow me to assist with the incredibly exciting potential for Unst and Shetland in developing satellite information and data services and small scale launch facilities in Unst.
“I believe this can be a catalyst for a new industry across Shetland and I plan to assist in its development. My parents own crofting land that may be used for the launch site so this family interest is a further reason for my involvement.”
One element of the Shetland Space Centre plans is to launch satellites into orbit from a yet-to-be developed site at Lamba Ness. It is there that Mr Scott’s family own crofting land.
Businessman Frank Strang is behind the space centre plans. Mr Strang is also a director of Saxa Vord Limited and Shetland FM Limited.
Shetland Islands Council has entered a “memorandum of understanding” with Shetland Space Centre Ltd. This newspaper understands that does not involve a financial commitment from the council but the SIC will play its part in “selling” Shetland as a suitable location for such a project.