Council plans drastic cut in subsidy to cafes and restaurants

The SIC is attempting to drastically reduce the level of public subsidy handed out to cafes and restaurants in Shetland after a concerted effort with the outlets in question.

Following complaints by private businesses about a situation which has seen subsidies of £429,000 a year being handed out to seven different catering services, a review was carried out last summer and the council’s head of economic development Neil Grant informed members on Thursday that plans have been put in place so that the figure should be able to fall to £50,000 by April 2013.

Mr Grant has been working with the various outlets on finding ways to reduce their reliance on the local authority, most notably Clickimin’s Horizons Café which closed down altogether last summer and has recently re-opened as Da Muckle Café under a franchise arrangement.

He said other eateries including Da Haaf Restaurant in Scalloway and the Hay’s Dock Café have both produced plans to break even within three years. He described that aspiration as “reasonable in terms of the assumptions they were based on”, while others are also looking at contracting out and finding savings. Last year’s review also included the Blue Rock Café at Islesburgh, Shetland Arts’ café at the Bonhoga Gallery and COPE Ltd’s catering service.

During Thursday’s meeting of the development committee, councillor Betty Fullerton said it would be important to ensure that any remaining subsidies were being handed out in an equitable manner. Mr Grant accepted that, but said there would at time still be “services that we might want to support or encourage under the Shetland brand”.


Add Your Comment

Add Your Comment

Please note, it is the policy of The Shetland Times to publish comments and letters from named individuals only. Both forename and surname are required.

Comments are moderated. Contributors must observe normal standards of decency and tolerance for the opinions of others.

The views expressed are those of contributors and not of The Shetland Times.

The Shetland Times reserves the right to decline or remove any contribution without notice or stating reason.

Comments are limited to 200 words but please email longer articles or letters to for consideration and include a daytime telephone number and your address. If emailing information in confidence please put "Not for publication" in both the subject line and at the top of the main message.

200 words left

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


Get Latest News in Your Inbox

Join the The Shetland Times mailing list to get one daily email update at midday on what's happening in Shetland.