26th February 2020
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New Clickimin plans welcomed by sports groups

The proposed building at Clickimin is similar to the Inverclyde National Sports Centre which opened in June.

The proposed building at Clickimin is similar to the Inverclyde National Sports Centre which opened in June.

Plans have emerged for a new indoor training centre at the Clickimin which will serve pupils in the new Anderson High School.

The building, which would be suitable for football and rugby as well as other sports, is designed to provide extra space for PE lessons and local sportsmen and sportswomen out of school hours.

It is hoped a steel truss design will be built with a tensile membrane covering, allowing natural light to permeate inside. It could have a synthetic playing surface of 60 metres by 40 metres divisible into three smaller areas with lifting dividers.

Local residents and representatives from sporting organisations were shown plans for the 12.5 metre high structure, which would be located south of the existing Clickimin Leisure Complex, at a meeting on Monday night.

The centre is expected to cost between £1.4 million and £1.7 million, and would be part-funded by Shetland Islands Council. A funding application has also been submitted to sportscotland.

General manager of Shetland Recreational Trust (SRT), James Johnston, said: “We have been working very closely with the SIC to ensure we can provide the requisite space for the needs of pupils at the new Anderson High School.

“At the same time we need to continue to provide the very best sporting facilities we can to the general public and user groups.

“So, again working with the council, we have devised what we feel is the best solution in the form of a 60 x 40 metre facility.

“As well as benefiting pupils during the day, it would free up space within the existing leisure complex in the evenings and at weekends for busy groups such as those offering gymnastics.”

Mr Johnston added: “We already have shared use of leisure facilities at our centres in the rural areas of Shetland, so we know this is a model that works well.

Shared use also means there is no unnecessary duplication of sporting facilities.”

Chairman of the Shetland Sporting Partnership Strategic Group, SIC councillor George Smith, said the new centre would be a “tremendous addition” to sporting facilities in the isles.

“This … will provide much needed pitch space under cover, to help our sports people develop their skills and enjoyment of their sport,” he added.
Chairman of the Shetland Football Partnership, Eric Graham, said the football community was “thrilled and excited”.

“It will allow for greater balance between summer and winter football with its size being adaptable to suit different group numbers and structures.

“The environment this will create will be perfect for the training and playing of football, but we believe even more importantly for increased levels of participation and enjoyment as well as retaining even more of the young people in our sport.”

Mr Johnston said SRT hoped to be able to submit a planning application for the building by the end of this month.


  1. Erik Smith

    It’s a polytunnel.

    • Sandy McMillan

      Aye do is right Erik, now the Council can plant veg Etc, and make money, instead of spending all the time, Eric Graham, and the Flea are the guys to look after a Poly Tunnel, how much more are they going to erect on the South side of Clickimin, until they have no more room but to start filling in the loch and Broch, joost wait until the Helicopter gets its rotors to take a grip of the material, which i would think is a type of plastic. Just another one of the Council mind boggling ideas

  2. David Spence

    If the Council spent more time on spending money on worthy causes, like keeping the schools open in the country area’s, and less money on providing sport facilities to the minority (no doubt all the over expensive running Leisure Centres (which are hardly used in proportion to the running costs – which are more than likely greater than keeping a much worthy, better for the community, school open)) in the country areas proves that this council thinks more of pampering to the minority (and sport, no matter how you try to justify it, is a selfish activity, either as a group or individual, where the rest of the community do not benefit at all) than to the greater, more beneficial to the community and to Shetland as a whole, called a school. A place where you learn and this knowledge is for life, unlike any sports activity, which has a very short shelf life, and benefits nobody else. Oh, yes, and you do not need a sports centre to play football (oh, poor things, cannot handle the Shetland weather despite being brought up in it) or most other sport activities. If it is to keep fit, try running or walking and taking advantage of the scenery and fresh air……..guess what? That’s costs nothing in comparison.

    • John Tulloch

      Caa’ canny, David, don’t throw the baby out with the bath water!

      I’ve played in football matches in Shetland in March and April, never mind, mid-winter, and I can assure you, forty-plus years on, some of those experiences are burnt into my memory – not so much memorable as unforgettable!

      There is now, thanks to the vision of council officials and councillors in the past, a huge number of people, young and old, who participate in sport, many in a quasi-professional way, or are involved in coaching and organising and their achievements are astonishing, they’ve really put Shetland on the map.

      This is enormously positive for the community because it gives people a purpose, something positive to do with their time. Interest in sport leads to an interest in health and fitness i.e. less emphasis on pubs, smoking and drugs and all that that entails, and an increase in self-discipline.

      The SIC’s achievements for Shetland in sport are exceptional.

      This facility isn’t particularly expensive and should be worth every penny, a tremendous asset for the new school and Shetland outdoor sportspeople who are able to use it, like football, rugby, tennis, etc., players will benefit greatly.

      Artificial pitches exist, elsewhere, in Shetland, however, lack of shelter is still the issue.

      Maybe, similar developments could come to places like Brae, in future?

      It’s yet another centralisation of facilities in Lerwick, however, it’s difficult to argue for it to go anywhere else so it’s all fine by me, provided rural schools don’t have to close in order to pay for its construction or operation.

  3. ian tinkler

    No funds for rural schools! Yet another mind boggling white elephant for Lerwick! Indoor Rugby, whatever next, are we trying to breed a new breed of wimps? A high kick would be interesting, God help Shetland with its present troop of fools trying to run the show!!!! As for Football, the girls team needs some support, they are worth watching. Chairman of the Shetland Football Partnership, Eric Graham, perhaps, time to grow some balls and man up to the weather!! Are you trying to create a team of Nancy boys?

    • David Kerr

      Ian – I’m guessing you haven’t met Eric, the ex-rugby playing farmer? 😉

    • Colin Hunter

      Nice wan Ian! First time I’m ever agreed wi onything Du’s written! Lol

  4. Colin Hunter

    Have I slept da winter awa an wakened up on April 1st? Dis is nearly as good as pittin a gless roof on da Street! Pray tell what will happen ta dis structure when it comes a pirr o wind?

    • Johan Adamson

      Folk build dykes to protect their tunnels in winter. That could cost another few million.

      Amazing that we have the resources, or can claim the grants, to build something the same as a national sports centre here.

  5. David Spence

    Well Ian, they do say Rugby is a man’s sport whilst football is a……….ok, nancy….or similar…..boys sport will do lol

  6. David Spence

    Ian, have you ever wondered why in the US of A there is so much emphasis on sports and this of competitive activities which highlight and expand the more negative aspects of human in terms of aggression (oh, the yanks love their violence, guns and killing…..based on their movies and alike) foul play, selfishness, win at all costs (including cheating – Lance Armstrong (as well as many others)) regardless how this is done…………and for what………a silly little medal, trophy or cup……….but do you see the connection between sport and how a business should be run? Unlike business, to a degree, sport does not require much up on the top department for it to be accomplished. lol

    • Ali Inkster

      China, the USSR and the rest of the eastern block countries also emphasised sporting achievement David and were also fond of cheating by use of steroids, men posing as women (after surgery this really is winning at any cost). could a competitive streak actually be human nature and most sports originated as a way of displaying marshal and hunting skills. It comes with benefits to health with modern lifestyles being so sedentary, and in days gone by the most skilled were liable to live longer too. But do we need a facility like this when we seemingly can’t afford the basics like an education. If national priorities mean funding for this is available but the extra funding for rural schools is not then are we in the right nation?

  7. Rachel Buchan

    What a waste of money!!

  8. Sheila Tulloch

    ‘a funding application has also been submitted to Sportscotland…’ presumably if the application is unsuccessful, the project will not go ahead as the SIC can’t afford it out of their own pockets?

  9. Robert Duncan

    Yet again we see people not understanding that grant funding is ring-fenced for specific purposes. If this is funded through sportscotland and similar bodies, taking money to Shetland from outside the isles, it is a very positive move and would be a very useful venue for a variety of clubs. It is not money that could or would be spent supporting rural schools.

    • Johan Adamson

      So there is no match funding from SIC (that could have been spent on schools)? Wasnt there a story recently that development had not spent anything on match funding, so they had made a budget saving? Not good news for this kind of project. Dont know who thought that was a good news story.

      I think people do get that there are separate pots of money. But ultimately it all comes from the EU or the Scottish Govt, and could be better prioritised by them to be spent on Education, which all local authorities are struggling to finance properly. Just cos Shetland seems to be able to get more grants than anywhere else does not mean the money is being spent wisely, just that there is less public finance available to anyone else who aren’t seen as a priority. And the weather point is a serious one: They need to make sure it can withstand our weather.

    • Michael Garriock

      I think people understand all too well about ring-fencing. The objections arise from how funds where originally allocated to each ring-fence, and other aspects of the funding package.

      Ring fenced national funds, whichever ring-fence they end up behind, are all gleaned from taxation. The Government, in its “wisdom”, decides upon which ring fenced areas it wishes to create, and then decides upon how much booty they stash behind each one. Therefore by the same token they can decide to transfer funds from behind one ring fence to another, should they wish to do so, and/or vary which ring fences exist and/or how much they allocate to each one in each round of new funding. Given how taxation sourced expenditure is panning out nationwide, I would argue that many people feel that there is a very good case why the distribution of such funds should be re-allocated at source away from recreational and leisure pursuits, and towards more all inclusive and productive public services, such as education etc.

      Its all very well to be gung ho about incoming investment to Shetland, I have no issue with that. However, if that’s your driving force, the question needs to be asked. Is the SIC/SRT going for this because it is desirable and value for money to the local population on its own merits, or because we’re “getting something, whatever it is, that someone else is at least part paying for”

      Finally, the question needs answering. How come the SIC can manage to find funds from within its own resources to at least part fund this, when it quite literally cannot find the funds to afford a pot to piss in on an adjacent site.

      • John Tulloch

        Good point aboot da lavvies, Michael.

        You know what the problem is, of course – ring fencing!

  10. ian tinkler

    .If ever there was a argument for Shetland to have an independent say of where it spends funds this truly highlights that argument. How come we squander so much on Shetland Arts, Recreation Trust et al, yet cannot fund our primary education? Central Government from Edinburg and Westminster has shown itself woefully inadequate, time and again, at supplying the basic needs of the Shetland community. Time for a change, Crown Independence, free of the centralised empire builders or absolute independent autonomy of finance, must be an improvement on the Status Quo.

    • John Tulloch

      Hear, hear!

    • Brian Smith

      A week ago Mr Tinkler was campaigning for non-feudal crown dependence. Now it’s imperial Crown independence …

      • John Tulloch

        It can’t be any of those things, Brian, unless the Shetland people assent to it.

        If Crown Dependency or any other form of autonomy turns out to mean something undesirable, the population won’t agree to it so Darwin’s Law would apply, only acceptable scenarios would be considered?

  11. Thomas Goodlad

    And of course who will pay for the maintenance!

  12. Jonathan Wills

    Sorry to spoil the instant critics’ fun but this actually saves the council money while providing a superb indoor sports arena, twice the size f the main games hall at Clickimin. Mr Tinkler could have found this out had he bothered to ask before flaming off as usual. The budget for the new Anderson High School (available for public inspection) includes a large sum for building an extension to the Clickimn Centre – which would have cost far more than the proposed new building. So this frees up money for other parts of the new school, which will serve all of Shetland. James Johnson of Shetland Recreation Trust, who came up with the idea, deserves congratulations, as does Education Chair Vaila Wishart. But do ignore the facts and carry on making snide remarks if it makes you feel better, Mr Tinkler…

    • Johan Adamson

      Ah well that’s good then. Shame this wasnt in the article. As long its not one of those fur coat nae knickers (up-to-date sports facilities nae loos or schools beyond Lerwick) kind o projects.

      And in your Shetland News letter you say Lerwick schools are crowded. Well, encourage families to put their bairns to school where they live once more, support after school clubs etc to support working mams, and this will help both the town and country schools. It is not a competition – we all want the best for our bairns.

    • Ali Inkster

      Maybe we could get James to look over the rest of the councils dealings then. Maybe even get him to have a quick once over of the Total deal and find out what happened there.

    • Rachel Buchan

      It would save the council even more money if it wasn’t done.

  13. ian tinkler

    Jonathan Wills, Nota Bene, ” The centre is expected to cost between £1.4 million and £1.7 million, and would be part-funded by Shetland Islands Council.”. Just how does this free up funds and save the Council money? Mr Wills sorry to be snide, but you are becoming less credible by the day!

    • Robert Duncan

      The point to remember is that the new school will receive significant funding from the Scottish Government. That is presumably contigent on plans, including improvements to the Clickimin, being delivered upon. I would expect so much given the new school will have reduced sports facilities due to its proximity to existing provision.

      Councillor Wills comment seems clear in suggesting this would reduce the Council’s own contribution across what is now two projects.

  14. Evelyn Morrison

    Jonathan Wills comment reminds me of the caucus race in Alice in Wonderland.

  15. David Spence

    I just find this whole concept (probably after the 2012 Olympics, the World Cup and the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow) of sport and sport activities being promoted so much, and yet the obesity rates in the population are going up, despite campaigns to promote health, keep fit and sport activities.

    The only thing that sports promotes, apart from it being a selfish activity where the community as a whole does not benefit at all in comparison to something much more worthy, called a school (the unjust cost of keeping Leisure Centres running when in real terms they are probably only used by a fraction of the community and are only open for less than a few hours a day (of which, I suspect, more than 50% or more of that time the Centres are empty but still cost a lot to maintain)).

    It seems that this Council can afford (unjustly) to run a Leisure Centre, but closes the school(s) in the same area to save money…………..No guesses that this Council puts the trivial pursuit (pampering to the minority) of sport ahead of education………..obviously, and exceedingly sad, that this should be the case that an activity which encourages the more negative aspects of human nature (aggression, selfishness, pushed to your limits because competitive, aggressive behaviour is accepted (always makes we wonder why most people in the world perceive american’s to be aggressive, confrontational, violent, egotistical and highly arrogant) in preparation for the cut throat world of business……which show the exact same traits.

    It is hard to believe that Shetland excels so great at education, and yet this is the area the Council decide to undermine for greater cause of bringing up a generation hell bent on winning at all cost no matter how immoral or unethical this may be…….for what, a stupid trophy, medal, cup or a certificate that is not worth more than the paper it is written on………..unlike education, which is worthy of any accolade.

    • John Tulloch


      You’re interested i’ music and you hae Mareel, so let da fitballers gyit dir “poly-tunnel” at a tenth o’ da price.

      Naebody wid caa’ for da Accordion an’ Fiddle Festival tae tak place on da “Pubby Park”, wid dey?

      An’ dey play wi’ aa der claes on!

  16. David Spence

    I take your point John………my view is based on the Councils attitude of putting sport ahead of education, despite the fact education and the results are a winning formula (excuse the pun) and has been for many a year.

    A building like the Mareel is well over due……..and should have been done years ago……plus…….I would most definitely say ‘ music ‘ is far stronger in Shetland culture and way of life than any sport. People complain about Mareel and the expenses incurred in the running of it…….but forget to mention the running cost of all the Leisure Centres around the islands which are, for a large part of the time, empty but still cost a lot to keep.

    I would be interested, if the latest addition to the Clickimin Empire goes ahead, how much the overall cost is for such a large complex compared to Mareel as well as the other Leisure Centres around the islands. In other words, sport -v- music/entertainment. I would suspect music/entertainment wins hands down and probably costs a lot less to run and more importantly, is more beneficial to the community.

    • John Tulloch


      I think you’re suggesting that people interested in “music/entertainment” outnumber those who are interested in sport?

      What about the number of those interested in “sport/entertainment”?

      What if we eliminate those interested in “entertainment” (couch potato-ry/revelry) – as I am – and consider those who are actually musicians versus the number who actually participate in sport (incidentally, I fall into both categories) and try to decide which, if any, are wonderful and which, worthless?

      I’m a bit old for competitive sport and, like “show-biz”, which isn’t exempt from competition, I accept there are drawbacks if competition is taken too far, however, it ill behoves a purported socialist and egalitarian (and you claim to have had a wonderful experience with security at a U.S. airport!) to be so, frankly, selfish, when, it is unarguable, music and the arts have had a damned good innings, of late.

  17. David Spence

    John, if you did a survey on what aspect of Shetland is famous, apart from the knitting, I bet most people would say music. As you may know, music plays a very important part of Shetland life and culture. I am a bit of a musician myself, although I mainly use what is known as midi technology (Musical Instrument Digital Interface) along with other hardware and software to create my music.

    Shetland has a varied and rich mixture of all styles of music, and also a few famous people within Scotland as well as further afield in their popularity.

    How many people in Shetland are famous for their musical skill and talent? Quite a lot.

    How many in Shetland are famous for their sport and promoting Shetland? Answer – zero.

    As for my experience in the USA, John. I was just reflecting the politeness and compassion the security staff showed me. Nothing whatsoever to do with politics, just plain good manners and politeness…..a human trait which is seriously lacking these days, I am sorry to say.

    • Ali Inkster

      Going by the responses I get when traveling Shetland is famous for in this order, Ponies, Ganzies, Up Helly AA, Wind, Sheepdogs, Sheep bothering, Oil, Vikings, Seamen, I have yet to meet anybody whose response to finding out where I’m from was to ask for a tune.

  18. Duncan Simpson

    David Spence’s personal crusade against sport, anyone interested in sport, business and the USA is becoming quite tiresome.

    You are interested in music, that is fine. You have a lovely venue to enjoy music in. Others are interested in sport (as well as many interesting things) and they have nice venues to pursue those interests. Trying to compare the two is pointless as everyone has different interests. One of the good things about Shetland is that there are good facilities for both these things.

    The budget for Sport and the like is separate from the education budget. If this is truly a cheaper way of providing part of the facilities for the new AHS and can benefit local clubs and individuals as well then I think it is a good idea, better than having grass pitches which can only be used for a small portion of the year.

    On the other hand it is more money being spent in Lerwick while rural communities are being decimated by the Councils draconian attempts at School closures. I can see why this would get peoples backs up but it is really a separate issue.

  19. Duncan Simpson

    I should add to my previous comment that whilst I think this is a good idea it should NOT be funded in any way by the SIC during this time of budget cuts. If the SRT and Scottish Government can’t cover it between them then let the Lerwick folk fundraise to make up the difference like the Whalsay folk had to do for their artificial pitch!

  20. Tom Milne

    A proposal for fantastic all-weather all-year facilities, that would be the envy of communities across Scotland……

    how dare they!


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