Lerwick Port Authority is to sponsor Shetland’s participation in the Tall Ships Races in two years’ time to the tune of £100,000.
The authority is the first major host port sponsor and the package includes berthing, pilotage and tugs, with quaysides made available adjacent to the fleet for related activities during the visit, from 21-24 July 2011.
Keys to rent-free office accommodation at Harbour House were handed over on Tuesday by LPA chairman Brian Anderson to Fiona Dally, project manager for Shetland Tall Ships 2011 Ltd.
Mr Anderson said: “Being a host port again for this prestigious international event is an important opportunity for the authority’s involvement with the community, and to help to promote Shetland and further develop the tourism industry for which the harbour is a key gateway for ferry and cruise passengers, as well as yacht crews.
“The tremendous success of the previous Tall Ships Races visit in 1999 and the organisation being put in place for the return gives us every confidence that the 2011 event will be even more spectacular and memorable.”
Ms Dally said: “Having access at this early stage to modern offices at a prime location and no cost, along with the other components in the port authority’s sponsorship package, is a significant step forward in organising Shetland’s role in the event. We look forward to hosting the races and showcasing our local culture, landscape and community spirit to a huge number of international visitors.
“We are very grateful to the authority for its generosity and co-operation and look forward to others following its example by becoming host port sponsors of an event expected to attract considerably more ships than 10 years ago.”
Meanwhile Louise Cluness has been recruited as operations assistant in the planning of the international event. She brings financial experience from her recent role with AB Associates and former project management with the NatWest Island Games in 2005.