18th October 2018
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EU cash assists LPA’s latest plan to expand harbour

How the Rova Head site will look once work is complete. Photo courtesy of LPA.

How the Rova Head site will look once work is complete. Photo courtesy of LPA.

Lerwick Port Authority and Shetland Amenity Trust have both received major funding boosts to the tune of a combined £637,000 in the latest round of EU funding.

The LPA will now press ahead with plans to expand harbour services to the north of the Greenhead Base, amid frenetic oil and gas activity in and around Shetland, including the creation of three separate “lay down” sites.

It is hoped the new area will be completed by the middle of next year, with local construction firm Tulloch Developments – which has already completed some drainage and other preparatory work at the south end of the site – set to be awarded the contract.

In all the project will cost £1.3 million, with confirmation on Monday that £515,315 will come from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). The remainder will be funded as part of the LPA’s own capital programme.

The energy boom has ensured all of the LPA’s existing facilities are occupied. Its chief executive Sandra Laurenson said she was “really pleased” the application had been successful, providing 40 per cent of the project cost.

LPA chief executive Sandra Laurenson: "Everything's full, so this has come at a very welcome time."

LPA chief executive Sandra Laurenson: “Everything’s full, so this has come at a very welcome time.”

“We’ve used most of our industrial land, and this will be used to support a range of energy projects,” she said. “We’ve got no unoccupied lay down at the moment – everything’s full, so this has come at a very welcome time. We’ll get this created over the winter, and ready to meet next year’s offshore projects.”

Meanwhile, the LPA has agreed a deal with Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE) to sell them the land for the 12-hectare new power station at Rova Head. In turn, SSE will offer the LPA the chance to acquire the land which houses the existing power plant at Gremista.

One of the three new lay down sites is likely to be let to SSE during construction of the new power station. The other two sites will be made available for short and long term use, primarily with prospective oil and gas company use in mind.

While the new power station may be complete by late 2016, it is likely to be nearer the end of the decade before the old one has been fully decommissioned. Ms Laurenson said the land “does lend itself, because of the foreshore, to expanding seaward once we have control of that”.

The amenity trust’s efforts to protect the isles’ seafaring heritage have also received a fillip in the form of a £121,880 towards its Shetland Boat Building Centre project.

Planning permission has been granted for the trust to build a shed at the Staney Hill where its sizeable collection of boats can be stored, maintained and hopefully expanded.

It is hoped work on the £300,000 project can begin early in 2014 and be completed by the summer. Delighted trust general manager Jimmy Moncrieff said it was something “we’ve been looking at for ages, and it’s taken an awful lot of time to get funding and acquire land”.

In recent years the trust has had to refuse donations of boats because it had nowhere suitable to keep them.

“It’s obviously fantastic news,” Mr Moncrieff said. “It’ll mean that the project will go ahead. It’s to store historic Shetland boats – an awful lot of them have been mouldering away, and they don’t last long. We’ve not been able to accept any boats for years now.

Amenity trust general manager Jimmy Moncrieff is delighted that long-awaited boat building centre can be built.

Amenity trust general manager Jimmy Moncrieff is delighted that long-awaited boat building centre will go ahead.

“It’s a place that keeps them safe, pending any restoration, but also there’ll be a workshop there – linking in with putting together a boat-building apprentice scheme [so we can] pass on the boat-building experience to future generations.”

In all, more than 40 projects throughout Scotland are benefiting from ERDF investment totalling £20 million, the Scottish Government announced on Monday.

About Neil Riddell

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22 comments

  1. Ted Knight

    Where, I wonder, would LPA be without EU funding and, too, the Amenity Trust with their regular handouts?

    Perhaps the excited Ms Laurenson and the delighted Mr Moncrieff might reveal all?

    Reply
  2. Laurence Paton

    The EU funding is only a minute fraction returned of what United Kingdom tax payers paid into that corrupt institution in the first place.
    In any case the LPA must have been enjoying record profits lately and can continue to expect the same for the foreseeable future.

    Reply
  3. Ted Knight

    Laurence Paton…I have no knowledge (or interest) in your claim that LPA “…must have been enjoying record profits lately”….however, if that indeed be the case, why the need for EU funding for a Company “enjoying record profits” when the money could might be diverted to the vulnerable on Shetland?

    Reply
  4. Ali Inkster

    Only a fraction of the harbour dues lost because eu rules have scrapped the majority of our fishing fleet. And now our fish are caught by European boats and landed elsewhere taking millions out of the Shetland economy. We are supposed to be thankfull for scraps from our own table.

    Reply
  5. Ted Knight

    Ali Inkster…which brings us to the nub…”The Oil Money”…has it been spent on the needy and vulnerable folk of Shetland? And…if not…why not?

    As the song goes…”Hard times, for sure…”.

    Reply
  6. Elizabeth Morewood

    All this talk about heaps of money but what about the future—the children and their education? Smaller schools closing in favour of large classes where a child cannot get the attention he/she needs.I know, as a ex teacher that children thrive better in a place where they are happy and can easily get the help they need. Children being bussed away from home having to leave when it is dark in winter and coming home in the dark is not good for the welfare of a child. It is a pity that some folks are so far removed from their own childhood.

    Reply
  7. Robert Duncan

    Did you mean to post that comment elsewhere, Ms Morewood? I’m not sure what relevance the LPA has to education.

    Reply
  8. Ted Knight

    Robert Duncan – I can see precisely what Ms Morewood meant. Follow the money, old chap…always follow the money…see where it goes…see who gets their hands on it… and who doesn’t get a look in.

    It’s a no-brainer.

    Reply
  9. Robert Duncan

    It’s not money that ever would be available for education, and there’s no fair way to distribute it to education authorities without massively diminishing the value attributed to each. The hope here is, presumably, to give it to self-sustaining bodies that can hopefully boost their local economies.

    Reply
  10. Ted Knight

    Robert Duncan – “It’s not the money that would ever be available for Education….”.

    Perhaps…but it’s MONEY which should be spent on the vulnerable and needy Shetland…not poured into the coffers of the likes of LPA and the Amenity Trust…I reiterate (uncomfortable for some, I see)…always FOLLOW the MONEY!.

    Reply
  11. graham jamieson

    the lpa is a charity who work for the good of the islands no shareholders nobody grabing the money no area 51. People choose to live in areas with small populations even with the cutbacks rural areas will still be getting more spent on them per head of population.

    Reply
  12. Robert Duncan

    Mr Knight, if all our development funds went directly to vulnerable groups, it would soon run out and there would be none for the future. These are funds being used to develop industry in Shetland that will hopefully remain profitable for some decades to come, at least. Whereas if we just gave it straight to education services – and lets not ignore the fact we’d be rather low on a shortlist were it based on need – everybody would share not very much.

    Your reiteration causes me no discomfort, not least because your “follow the money” remark makes very little sense.

    Reply
  13. Ted Knight

    Mr Duncan…and your lame excuses are…must be polite…a copout at best. And, who referred to you regarding my “reiteration”? Pricked conscience?

    You really must calm down and cut out the insults, old chap…this is a comments column…it’s called Free Speech… does it rankle?.

    Reply
  14. Robert Duncan

    I can assure you I am perfectly calm, and meant no offence. I simply fail to understand what it is you’re actually talking about, and I am now even more confused that parts of your two comments in direct response to me were apparently not for my eyes after all. Perhaps you could explain what, “follow the money” actually means? Or address which of my lame cop out “excuses” you deem to be untrue.

    Reply
  15. Ted Knight

    Discussion over…I’ve a flight to Norway to catch…annoy someone else.

    Reply
  16. Robert Duncan

    Despite your bizarre aggression, I hope you have a nice trip.

    Reply
  17. John Tulloch

    Dey surely hae nae internet athin’ Norrowa’, dan?

    Reply
  18. john irvine

    how many £millions did the SIC have to pay the LPA over that ridiculous Bressay bridge? what happened to that money? utterly disgraceful the whole fiasco and both parties should be utterly ashamed to have squandered and gained from what was money which should have been for the good of our community.

    Reply
  19. Robert Sim

    “Comments are moderated. Contributors must observe normal standards of decency and tolerance for the opinions of others.” In the light of that, I have to ask whether anyone actually ever monitors the comments on this website? The last unpleasant contribution from Ted Knight above should have been excised.

    Reply
  20. John Tulloch

    I think they should leave them in, it let’s everyone see whose won the debate when the bad losers scuttle, waspishly, for the exit.

    Reply
  21. It’s a matter of public record that the council paid the Lerwick Port Authority £4.8m to settle the Bressay Bridge debacle out of court. I fully agree with comments here that this was a situation that the council should never have got into and the loss to the council is regrettable.

    However, I think it’s important to note that the council and the port authority are now on much better terms. Along with two fellow councillors, I now sit on the board of the LPA and the two organisations are positively engaged through community planning in delivering for the Shetland community.

    Indeed, the money paid over by the council has been invested in harbour infrastructure and is likely to generate income for the Shetland community for many years to come.

    Reply
  22. David Spence

    Robert, the comments are monitored by the Shetland Times, as I have, on numerous occasions, commented on certain issues where these comments have not be put on after they have been initially entered prior to the moderator taking, if any, action.

    Once the moderator has scrutinised the said comments, they simply do not appear on the blog if deemed inappropriate or irrelevant or, I presume, breach any code of conduct related to this website?

    Reply

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