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UK's First Space Port

Oral Answers to Questions — Business, Innovation and Skills – in the House of Commons at 9:30 am on 12th February 2015.

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Photo of Alan Reid Alan Reid Liberal Democrat, Argyll and Bute 9:30 am, 12th February 2015

What recent discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Transport on the location of the UK’s first space port.

Photo of Greg Clark Greg Clark Minister of State (Universities and Science), Minister of State (Cabinet Office)

I met Transport and Defence Ministers yesterday to discuss progress on delivering the UK’s first space port. They are both part of the cross-governmental team taking forward the national space flight agenda. The Government have undertaken a public consultation on the eight potential locations, including Machrihanish in the hon. Gentleman’s constituency, and the criteria that will be used to select the location of a UK space port. Our response to that consultation will be published shortly.

Photo of Alan Reid Alan Reid Liberal Democrat, Argyll and Bute

I thank the Minister for that answer. A space port would be a great boost to the British economy. Machrihanish, with its 3 km runway and all the facilities of a Royal Air Force base, and being far from densely populated areas, is obviously the clear choice for the space port. I urge the Government to go on to the next phase of the decision-making process quickly and choose Machrihanish as soon as possible.

Photo of Greg Clark Greg Clark Minister of State (Universities and Science), Minister of State (Cabinet Office)

I assure my hon. Friend that we will be taking the first part of his advice and proceeding quickly, but it would be wrong to pre-empt the outcome of that consultation and to nominate Machrihanish from the Dispatch Box today.