Re: Isn't it a bit far from the equator?
1) Whales. If you fly into Shetland then you always see susans of whales. If we ever hope to get whales into space then we need to launch from their locale. Why do we need whales in space? I dunno, ask Douglas Adams, ask Star Trek IV, ask Iain M. Banks..And if you are launching a whale then jet fuel and latitude is not such an issue
2) Rocket fuel is so explosive that Trident missiles aren't allowed anywhere near Plymouth - they have to be unloaded before going into Devonport and not because of the nukes. It's a bit of a risk to the local population, hence Shetland.
I flew up to Shetland about thirty times in one job. Always saw whales around the coast from the air. And one thing made me laugh, even on a bright blue day everywhere else there was a grey cloud above the islands. I dunno which god they annoyed.