Funding is key to next piece

Lerwick Port Authority’s current three-phase development programme will significantly upgrade facilities for the important fishing industry at the Shetland port – with the second phase due for completion in the autumn.

Industry representatives will be updated on progress at the Skipper Expo International exhibition (27-28 May) in Aberdeen where the Port Authority will be on stand 67.

"The sequence of interlocking development projects underlines the importance of recognising the industry's future requirements, planning ahead and investing accordingly," said the Port Authority’s Chief Executive, Sandra Laurenson.

Following completion of the £3.2 million, 150-metre Mair's Quay for the fishing industry in 2013, the Port Authority embarked on the current construction phase – the adjacent L-shaped Holmsgarth North jetty which is costing £16.5 million. The first 110-metres section has been in use since February for the layby of fishing vessels.

With overall completion scheduled for autumn 2016, work continues on laying the 15,500 square metres of concrete deck area, demolition of the former smaller jetty and installation of shore power points for the white fish fleet and four points suitable for large pelagic trawlers which lay-by seasonally.

The eventual 800-metres-plus jetty will provide deeper berthing – ultimately 10 metres, more working area for the fishing fleet and create a dock sheltering the new market to be built on Mair’s Quay.

Sandra Laurenson added: “The new infrastructure sets us up well for the transformation of this part of the port to become our fishing hub. The design of the fishmarket is ready and discussions are well advanced with supporting companies seeking to relocate to the new location. The next big step is getting a positive outcome to our application from the European Maritime Fish Fund for the replacement fishmarket.”

Construction of the fishmarket can only start after completion of the Holmsgarth North jetty, with the market scheduled to be available by the end of 2018. The market and quays will bring significant benefits for the whole fishing sector.

Sandra Laurenson continued: “The port is, of course, dependent on fishermen choosing to land their fish at Lerwick, as this is the lifeblood that makes everything work. We feel we have risen to the challenges of providing best-in-class facilities and, with very healthy fish stocks, look forward to being of service for many years to come.”

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