I thank Shona Robison for raising the issue and agree whole-heartedly with her about the huge potential of the space and satellite industry in Scotland. We already have a very visible presence in the space sector globally, more small satellites are manufactured in Glasgow than in any other place in Europe and almost one fifth of the UK’s space-sector jobs rest here in Scotland.
I share the member’s concerns about the implications of the Natural Environment Research Council decision to cut funding to the station. I am also aware of the apparent impasse in discussions with commercial parties. Scottish Enterprise is engaged to find a way forward that preserves the assets of the satellite receiving centre and retains the related expertise in Scotland. I am somewhat constrained in what I can say, and what we can disclose, in terms of the content of on-going commercial discussions, but I will ask the relevant minister to look into the matter further and write to the member with an update as soon as possible.