Shetland Arts and DITT settle over Mareel

The dispute between Shetland Arts and construction firm DITT has reached an end thanks to an out of court settlement.

However no comment has been made about the undisclosed sum because neither of the parties could agree a statement after the financial settlement was reached on 4th November.

It brings a halt to the threat of costly legal action at the Court of Session.

The battle between the two organisations followed delays in getting the £13.5 million cinema and arts venue completed.

Mareel opened £1.5 million over budget in August last year following lengthy delays of up to 18 months.

The prospect that an out of court settlement may be reached has been running for several weeks, with the aim of minimising legal bills for both parties.

Earlier this year Shetland Islands Council struck a complicated £1.1 million lease deal with the arts agency. SIC politicians have since made it clear that they have more than met their obligations regarding Mareel and would not give the organisation additional funding in relation to the building.

Shetland Arts is also seeking to sell some of its smaller properties – notably the Kergord hatchery – as it seeks to bolster its cash reserves.

Last month Shetland Arts chairman Danus Skene was open about the financial challenge facing the organisation after the SIC and Shetland Charitable Turst had indicated they would not provide the necessary financial help. He told The Shetland Times he was confident funding could be found from funders outside of Shetland.

At the time he said the willingness to help was there, “but it depends on having an agreement that is final with respect of the contractual relationship.”


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