New hotel plan emerges
A new hotel could be built in or around Lerwick as part of an ongoing effort to ease the accommodation burden facing the isles.
The size of any prospective development, or possible locations, have still to be determined but details are expected to emerge as soon as a suitable site has been located and planning permission is secured.
Plans for the development have come to light following a deal between the Norwegian owner of the Sella Ness accommodation sites, Malthus, and those behind the Saxa Vord Resort in Unst.
The two have signed a partnership agreement to provide and operate different types of accommodation to support the unprecedented demand in the isles.
As well as having the new hotel built, the joint venture also aims to increase accommodation capacity at Sella Ness, which is currently at its limit of 848 people. It wants to build new wings to house those employed on various projects at Sella Ness itself and Sullom Voe.
Saxa Vord owner Frank Strang said: “We have been in discussions with Malthus for several months about working together and I am delighted that we have now formalised the relationship.
“We really enjoy working with our new Norwegian partners and believe the mix of Shetland-based local knowledge and Norwegian business acumen will be pivotal to the success of the venture.
“We want to grow the Saxa Vord core business of accommodation provision to the business and tourist sectors on Shetland and this relationship will allow us to expedite the process. Saxa Vord will be the public face of the new enterprise with Malthus providing the design, procurement, build and project management skills.”
Malthus Group chief executive Espen Ingebretsen added: “Malthus has maintained a vital presence on Shetland for several years and we are very excited to join forces with Saxa Vord and realise a mutual vision to develop the island’s capacity for accommodation, offices and recreational facilities.
“We are proud to take part in supporting Shetland’s industrial and economic growth, and look forward to a positive long term partnership with SaxaVord, local authorities and the industrial communities on Shetland.”