Tunnels should be ‘Shetland’s price’ for hosting space industry, MP says

The UK government has been urged to fund fixed links as “Shetland’s price” for its role in the vital space industry.

SaxaVord Spaceport today (Thursday) celebrated a major milestone in the project, securing the final licence to host orbital satellite launches.

The first launch is expected to take place later this year.

Isles MP Alistair Carmichael strongly welcomed that news, and said he was delighted that the UK government had pledged £10m towards the budget.

But he has called on them to go even further, and to fund tunnels to the outer isles as well.

“We welcome the coming of the space industry to Shetland, but we welcome it on our own terms and we want to maximise for ourselves the opportunities that it can bring to our communities,” he said.

“One project that the community is keen to proceed with – and which is deserving of some support from the Scottish government and the UK government would be to replace our inter-island ferries with fixed-links tunnels going from mainland Shetland to Yell, and Yell to Unst.

“That is the sort of thing that should be Shetland’s price for playing host to the space industry.”

Mr Carmichael added that if Shetland is to “step up to the plate” for the benefit of the UK, that responsibility needs to be acknowledged.


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