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Shetland’s principal commercial port reels in green technology ahead of expansion

Lerwick Port Authority is developing a new white fish market at Lerwick Harbour to position itself for a sustainable future, with support from a £3 million funding package from Bank of Scotland.

The new fish market will allow Shetland’s principal seaport to expand the capacity for landings and meet increasing demand from the islands’ commercial fishing industry.

The facility will more than double existing capacity, extending to a 1,600 square metre market.  

The new market will also use the latest green technology and sustainable building materials to improve the port’s energy efficiency, including LED lighting, modern refrigeration, heating controls and insulation.

Set to be completed in early 2020, the Authority estimates that these measures will deliver a 44-50 per cent reduction in energy consumption, when compared to the usage of its current fish market.

As part of an existing facility, finance for the fish market has come from Bank of Scotland’s £2 billion Clean Growth Finance Initiative (CGFI). The initiative offers discounted funding to help businesses lower their carbon emissions, financing energy efficiency improvements and large-scale renewable energy projects.

In addition to Clean Growth Finance, Bank of Scotland has committed to lend up to £1.6 billion to Scottish businesses this year.

The £7.6 million market is also being backed by the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund and Highlands and Islands Enterprise.

Lerwick Port Authority is an integral part of Shetland’s economy, providing a gateway for industries, including oil and gas, decommissioning, cargo, ferries, cruise, fishing and lifeline shipping services to the Scottish mainland and Orkney.

In the last three years, sustainable stock management practices introduced by Shetland’s catching sector in response to the EU Common Fisheries Policy have increased the amount of fish landed in Lerwick. 

The £10 million-turnover business currently employs 51 people.  It is expected that the new fishmarket may create additional jobs in the local area, both directly and indirectly.

Captain Calum Grains, Chief Executive of Lerwick Port Authority, said: “The improved efficiency and increased capacity of the new market completes a phase of developments to create a modern fit-for-purpose hub for the fishing industry at Mair’s Quay. 

“Bank of Scotland has been by our side for more than 100 years. Thanks to its support, we are able to grow our business sustainably and efficiently, while reducing environmental impact.”

Carolyn Martin, relationship manager at Bank of Scotland, said: “Scotland is building a reputation as a world leader in sustainable business practices. It has been very rewarding to help the team at Lerwick Port Authority capitalise on this trend. It can now meet increased demand for space in its market and futureproof a business that is such an important lynchpin of Shetland’s economy. 

“The Clean Growth Finance Initiative is designed to help businesses bring in measures that will both benefit their own organisations, and help the UK meet its clean growth targets by reducing carbon emissions and waste. It’s one of the ways we’re helping Scotland prosper.”

Bank of Scotland Relationship Manager, Carolyn Martin with Captain Calum Grains, Lerwick Port Authority Chief Executive.

Bank of Scotland Relationship Manager Carolyn Martin, with Captain Calum Grains, Lerwick Port Authority Chief Executive.