Alistair Dodds Becomes HIE Chairman: Further Plans for Sutherland Spaceport

22nd May 2020
Alistair Dodds

Former Highland Council Chief Executive, Alistair Dodds was recently appointed chairman of Highlands and Islands Enterprise, the agency responsible for the Sutherland Spaceport project.

Lorne Crerar, its previous chairman, took care of this job for three years and just stepped down in February. While times may be challenging for HIE and the local economy in general, Alistair Dodds is positive that the agency will contribute its share to the promising projects currently within its remit, boosting economic growth. 

Future of Sutherland Spaceport

While the Covid-19 pandemic put plenty of construction projects on hold, Fergus Ewing, local tourism and rural economy minister is highly optimistic about the new HIE appointment. He believes Dodds has all the skills and experience necessary to help recover local business after the pandemic. His contribution to major business projects will surely have a positive effect on the local economy.

Sutherland Spaceport is just one of such promising projects. This facility will create hundreds of new jobs and bring millions of pounds into the local economy. For now, this vertical launch site construction is on hold as the planning application is still with the local council, but things should start moving right after the coronavirus lockdown is over.

Alistair Dodds is also optimistic about his new job. Mr. Dodds believes that innovation is the key to economic success, especially when it comes to such a diverse country as Scotland. Millions of pounds have already been invested in multiple launch sites. Sutherland Spaceport seems to be the most promising one. Or at least it is the site that the UK Space Agency and the UK government got behind when talks first started around building a launch site. Sutherland Spaceport were also the recipients of a UK Space Agency grant.

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