Space Hub Sutherland

Supporting UK's Space Hub in Sutherland.


Exciting plans are taking shape to launch satellites into space from the Scottish Highlands.

In July 2018, the UK Space Agency (UKSA) announced that it was backing our ambitious proposals to develop a vertical launch site at The Moine, Sutherland.

Our board has approved £17.3m to support the project, now called Space Hub Sutherland (SHS). This includes the UKSA’s £2.5m and £9.8m from HIE itself. The remaining £5m is being sought from the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority.

Conditions attached to the Board’s approval include the need to identify and deliver local community benefits.


The launch site is expected to create around 40 highly skilled jobs in Sutherland. At a regional level, we estimate this figure will multiply to 400 jobs, with launch activities making Sutherland the hub of a significant new space sector.

We are aiming to achieve the first launch of satellites from Sutherland in the early 2020s. Over time, the number of launches is expected to grow to around 12 a year. 

As well as delivering positive economic impacts including jobs, training and supply chain opportunities, it will be vital that Space Hub Sutherland generates community benefits. We are also focused on ensuring that the project is developed in ways that respect the natural environment, and with safety as our top priority. 

Space Hub Sutherland will have to meet strict regulations, and will be subject to a rigorous planning process, including public consultation. 

We are committed to sharing information as our plans develop. The aim is to give local people and everyone who is interested in our plans the chance to learn what Space Hub Sutherland is all about and keep up to date as our vision becomes reality. 

This is a high profile, complex and innovative project that we expect to generate many social and economic benefits for different parts of the region, including around 400 new well-paid skilled jobs.
Roy Kirk, Project Director, HIE

Fasten your seatbelts for a virtual journey through Space Hub Sutherland.

Our plans

To see what Space Hub Sutherland will look like, have a look at our latest plans and maps below. The maps and plans were presented at a community event in Melness on 25 November 2019.

Take the virtual tour

Have a look at our video on the left to watch a virtual fly-through of Space Hub Sutherland from our designers at Norr Architects. 

Play video


Get the answers to all of the questions you have about our Space Hub Sutherland project here.

Space Hub FAQs

Keep up to date

You can keep up to date with our progress by subscribing to our quarterly Space Hub Sutherland newsletter.

Register here  

Find out more about how the project has been developing in our past newsletter issues below. 

Issue 5 - December 2019

Issue 4 - September 2019

Issue 3 - June 2019

Issue 2 - March 2019

Issue 1 - December 2018

Don't forget to follow us on twitter or if you need to speak to a member of the team, find our contact details below. 

Key Contacts

Space Hub Sutherland general enquiries

For general enquiries about Space Hub Sutherland, please email us at 

Roy Kirk - Project Director

Roy was appointed as Project Director for Space Hub Sutherland in 2018. Prior to that he was HIE's Area Manager for Caithness and Sutherland since 2008, responsible for delivering growth in local businesses, developing sectoral growth, strengthening communities and regional development.

Contact Roy

David Howie - Programme Head

David joined the Space Hub Sutherland team as Programme Head in February 2018 to oversee programme. Previously he was the Regional Head of Innovation and Technology after joining us from the Scottish Manufacturing Advisory Service where he led a team of manufacturing practitioners delivering around 60 projects a year with businesses across the north of Scotland.

Contact David

Pete Guthrie - Senior Programme Manager

Pete has worked with us since 2013 and has extensive experience of working on a wide range of community development projects as the Head of Strengthening Communities. This work included the roll-out of superfast broadband to many thousands of remote and rural households. He joined the Space Hub Sutherland project team in 2018.

Contact Pete

June Love - Stakeholder Relations and Communications

June has worked with us on a secondment basis from Dounreay Site Restoration Ltd (DSRL) since 2014, initially to support inward investment activities identified through the Caithness and North Sutherland Regeneration Partnership. In 2018 her secondment role was changed to support the delivery of stakeholder engagement for the Space Hub Sutherland project.

Contact June