Two community organisations received major funding to help them develop plans to buy land for a marina and a former school.
The North Yell Development Council has been pledged a £22,478 “pre-acquisition development grant” from the so-called Scottish Land Fund.
NYDC plans to purchase an area of ground to extend the existing community-owned industrial estate in Cullivoe.
It also hopes to purchase more land to develop marina services in the area and provide deep water berths and a breakwater.
That should help it accommodate increased activity in the marine-based industry and tourism.
The money will also help the development council commission a consultant to develop a business plan for the sites, and fund a civil engineer’s report.
The funding will also support legal fees and a market valuation of the sites.
Meanwhile, the Community Development Company of Nesting have been discussing plans with Shetland Islands Council to take over ownership of the old school and outbuildings in South Nesting.
Community consultation is said to have shown extensive support for the proposal, and has also generated a range of ideas for the use of the building.
That project is getting a grant of £13,941 – money which will help the group commission a business plan to further develop the ideas and present a viable business case.
The groups will now move onto stage two of the Scottish Land Fund where they will bid to secure acquisition funding.
Director of North Yell Development Council, Andrew Nisbet, said the grant would mean the organisation would be able to move its plans for industrial estate expansion forward and support the growth of local businesses.
“This is an important part of our community development plan as we look to support employment, tourism and strengthening our community,” he said.
Nesting community development member, Dougie Stevenson, added: “The help we have received from the Scottish Land Fund has been extremely beneficial and the grant we have received will give us the professional help to develop our concepts and move into the acquisition and development phase. We are very grateful for their support.”
The Scottish Land Fund is a Scottish government programme delivered in partnership by Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) and the Big Lottery Fund. It supports communities to purchase land and land-based assets to enable them to deliver sustainable development and local economic impacts.
Development manager with HIE, Claire Munro, is working with both organisations as an adviser.
She said: “I am delighted to see the first approvals in Shetland under this programme of the Scottish Land Fund. It has been a pleasure to support these two groups to secure their stage one awards and I look forward to continuing to work with them as they get closer to acquiring these important assets for their communities.”