A SUBSTANTIAL majority of young adults in Scotland are in favour of developing the world’s first carbon neutral Space Hub on the A’ Mhoine peninsula, according to a new survey.

The YouGov poll of 1015 people showed revealed that 85% of 18 to 24-year-olds favoured the hub while, after reading a description of the proposed development, 75% of adults supported it.

Space Hub Sutherland’s main benefit is perceived as helping secure the long-term future of Melness and its surrounding areas, which is recognised by the younger generation.

The survey showed that, after reading information about the proposals, job creation, the development of a space industry in Scotland, local economic impact, and plans for the spaceport being sensitive to the natural environment were the main driving factors behind support for it.

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Job creation was cited as an important factor by 94% of young adults and 89% of adults overall in developing the spaceport in Sutherland, while 88% of adults saw protecting local peatlands as important.

The environment-friendliness of Space Hub Sutherland was important to 91% of Highlanders polled, while three-quarters of adults supported it after reading a description of the proposals and 72% said they supported the creation of a space industry in Scotland.

Planning permission was granted for Space Hub Sutherland in 2020 and could see an inaugural flight from land on the Melness Crofters’ Estate next year.

The proposals, which ensure the land remains a working croft, have been carefully considered to ensure the crofting community, the area’s stunning landscape, and native wildlife are all protected.

Chair of Melness Crofters’ Estate, Dorothy Pritchard, said: “It’s great to hear that people throughout the country support the development of the space hub, and in particular, the younger generation can see the long-term benefits that having a space hub could bring. Our vision, from day one, has been to create opportunities for the local community while minimising disruption to our landscape here in Sutherland.

“If we don’t do something to create more opportunities for people to live and work here in Sutherland, then we will lose the heart and soul of our communities. The job creation that comes as a direct result of the space hub and additional knock-on opportunities in the future will ensure that our community thrives for generations to come.

“Knowing that others in Scotland see the potential that the space hub has to revitalise our rural community is very encouraging.”