The final piece of major funding has been secured to pave the way for a new £6.3 million fish market in Lerwick.
Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) has agreed to put £585,879 towards the development which will be built at the new Mair’s Pier at Holmsgarth.
Lerwick Port Authority it managing the project that will see a purpose-built whitefish market open towards the end of 2019. It will help the industry the growing demand for whitefish.
Port authority chief executive Sandra Laurenson said it was the final piece of the “funding package”. Work is due to get under way in the middle of 2018.
HIE’s funding is in addition to £1.7m the port authority secured from the EU’s European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF). The new fish market will include landing, auction and quality assurance services to the sector.
HIE area manager Rachel Hunter said: “We are delighted to support the port authority in delivering this ambitious infrastructure project that will strengthen the future outlook for Shetland’s whitefish sector and local communities across Shetland.
“The sector plays a vital role in leading sustainable economic growth in our food and drink sector and providing jobs across the islands, including rural and more remote areas.
“LPA’s investment in a replacement fish market, along with HIE and EMFF’s support, will boost the impact of our whitefish sector and ensure Shetland continues to be positioned as a leading landing port in the UK for many years to come.
“Shetland rightly has a reputation for fish of the highest quality. A new fish market at Lerwick is critical in maintaining this reputation and will allow the industry to efficiently cope with its landings needs and stimulate further growth now and in the long-term.”
Ms Laurenson added: “This welcome announcement by HIE confirms the final, anticipated component in the funding package for the replacement whitefish market which will help sustain and develop the future of the Shetland fishing industry.”