Visiting UK minister John Lamont has expressed admiration for Shetland’s industries.
And during a trip to the spaceport in Unst, Mr Lamont spoke of how the island was set to be at the heart of Scotland the UK’s space industry.
The minister visited the site’s first, newly-completed concrete launchpads, one of three orbital launch pads that will support up to 30 vertical satellite rocket launches a year.
Bosses say the project will support employment of up to 200 people.
Mr Lamont said: “There is a huge opportunity for Shetland to be a world leader in terms of space technology deployment.
“The spaceport at Saxa Vord has unique geographical advantages that we are keen to help them exploit.”
“This is a very exciting project and the wider space industry has a huge potential to create rewarding and skilled careers.
“Shetland can be at the heart of that.”
Mr Lamont also met with members of Shetland Island’s Council to discuss opportunities and challenges for the isles.
SIC convener Andrea Manson said: “I am delighted that the Minister has prioritised Shetland for his first ministerial visit and I was happy to welcome him to Shetland.
“This was a fantastic opportunity to showcase the opportunities Shetland has in space, aquaculture and new energy.”
Prior to his trip to the spaceport, Mr Lamont also visited Scottish Sea Farms’ salmon fishery in Burra and he met teams from Blueshell Mussels and Shetland Mussels.
The minister added: “It has been great to explore Shetland’s vibrant and diverse economy.”