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HIE changes in north as spaceport plans get underway

Published: 29/08/2018

HIE has made leadership changes in Caithness and Sutherland, following the recent announcement of plans to create a spaceport near Tongue.

Roy Kirk has moved from his role as area manager to become project director for the new spaceport, where he will lead HIE’s plans to develop the new satellite launch facility.

A new acting area manager, Eann Sinclair (pictured), has been appointed in his place, while a permanent replacement is recruited.

Roy Kirk has been with HIE for more than ten years, after moving from West Lothian to Caithness. He was initially an inward investment manager before being appointed area manager in 2008. Over the past two years he has been leading on efforts to attract the spaceport investment to Sutherland.

Eann Sinclair is from Thurso and graduated from Glasgow University with a degree in Scottish and English Literature before gaining an MSc in Tourism. He has held a variety of HIE roles in the area, including head of strengthening communities. For the past ten years he has been programme manager of the Caithness and North Sutherland Regeneration Partnership (CNSRP). 

David Oxley, HIE’s director of business and sector development, said:

“Having been integral to the development of the opportunity for a spaceport in Sutherland, it is logical for Roy to focus fully on this exciting opportunity. I am sure his passion and enthusiasm for the project will continue as the development takes shape.

“Eann will make an excellent acting area manager, covering Roy’s role for the next few months while we recruit a permanent replacement. Through his work with the Regeneration Partnership in particular, Eann has repeatedly proved himself as a focused and motivated leader. He has wide experience of Caithness and Sutherland and has built strong relationships with many key partners.”

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