Energetic support for Macrihanish Spaceport from Argyll & Bute’s SNP MP

Brendan O’Hara, Argyll & Bute’s SNP MP, has been highlighting the strength of the case of the Machrihanish Airbase Community Company’s [MACC] site near Campbeltown in Kintyre to be the successful applicant for the UK’s first Spaceport.

Mr O’Hara says: ‘On Friday, I met again with the team at the Machrihanish Airbase Community Company, the community-owned company currently bidding to host the UK Spaceport.

‘I need no convincing of the potential benefit to Argyll and Bute if their bid is successful – what MACC are proposing could transform the west of Scotland and reverse the fortunes of this spectacular peninsula.  This decision should be a no-brainer for the UK Government

‘The criteria for the Spaceport could have been based on the merits of this site alone.

‘It’s sufficiently rural, coastal yet accessible.

‘It has the airspace, the storage and the necessary infrastructure.

‘But if that wasn’t enough, it has twice been approved for spaceflights – first by NASA and then Virgin Galactic.’

‘This bid is unique in its scope. It has the vision and best of all it is a community-enterprise.  It ticks every box.

‘We now need to show those making the decision on where the UK Spaceport will be, that not only does Machrihanish fulfil all the essential criteria, it has the vision and ambition to make this facility world-class but is also backed by the community within which it should reside.

My message to everyone in this and the wider communities across Argyll and Bute is: ‘Back this bid – make your voices heard and let’s bring business and people back to Kintyre’.

Mr O’ Hara is perfectly ight that the decision ought to be a ‘no-brainer’ for the UK Government. He omits the major threat, to the MACC case though, which is that its primacy ought to be a no-brainer for the Scottish Government as well.

But the Scottish Governemnt is actually a competitor to MACC and will be investing public money in its own bid for the Spaceport to come to Prestwick Airport in congested Ayrshire near Ardrossan – which it owns.

Prestwick, with Campbeltown and Stornoway, are the three shortlisted Scottish sites, with one in South Wales and one on the south coast of England.

Mr O Hara is also right in mentioning the issue of infrastructure as a strength of the MACC case – but that infrastucture is site-related and not access-related – a weakness in the Macc case for which there is redress and which For Argyll will address in its forthcoming analysis of the first report from the Argyll and Bute Economic Forum.

Mr O’Hara’s vigorous support for the Kintyre proposal will be widely welcomed. It is centrally important to Argyll as a whole that this proposal is business-like, committed, powerfully evidenced, irresistably presented – and successful.

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Related Articles & Comments

  • Good stuff from Brendan O’Hara for vigorously arguing for the spaceport to be located in Argyll and Bute. This is exactly the type of opportunity that we need. If Kazakstan can do it for the Russians, and Cape Canaveral for the Americans, Machrihanish can certainly do it for Europe. And let us not forget that Machrihanish is not all that far from Glasgow airport and Prestwick Airport where there is already a hinterland of aerospace maintenance technology.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 3

    willie March 1, 2016 1:39 pm Reply
  • congested Ayrshire near Ardrossan?

    Is that vacant Argyll near Helensburgh?

    Can we not just remove the nuclear warheads from the trident missile and use them and then let out the subs for B&b!!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 4

    No Cheese Here March 1, 2016 6:37 pm Reply
  • Rather less than “vigorous support ” to date , I guess that’s why he’s been stung into action now , having failed to attend the debate on the issue in the House of Commons .

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2

    Regularflyer March 1, 2016 7:37 pm Reply
    • R, does O’Hara know where Machrihanish is? most people around here have never seen the man and only hear about him and Russell when there is an election.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 2

      Richard March 1, 2016 8:51 pm Reply
      • Dick, there’s rumours being spread around that you only found out about Kintyre from a Paul McCartney record.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 4

        Murdoch MacKenzie March 1, 2016 9:54 pm Reply
        • Murdoch, do you even know where we are? never mind where the man’s farms are, stick to your bit of jungle and have another banana.

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2

          Richard March 1, 2016 10:17 pm Reply
          • Head Banana, Big Banana, so yesterday. I’ll send you some Noni Juice see if that helps.
            I used to fly into Macrihanish around 1970, BEA Viscount aircraft. I have also overnighted on the Campbelltown pontoon many times over the years, I had good friends down there and they would sign me in to the Masonic club.
            I’ve only been there by road once but found it no bother, you can’t go wrong on a dead end road.

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

            Murdoch MacKenzie March 2, 2016 8:42 am

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