Work is imminent as Lerwick Port Authority prepares to press ahead with its plans to build a new whitefish market.
Lerwick-based company Tulloch Developments Ltd has been appointed the main contractor to oversee the £7.6 million project. Design work has been completed by Arch Henderson and the architecture firm, which has a Lerwick office, will manage the project.
It will more than double landing capacity at the port which is already the second largest UK port for fish landings..
Port authority chief executive Sandra Laurenson said: “We are committed to sustaining and developing the fishing industry in Shetland, as a key component in the islands’ economy, by providing the required, modern facilities.
“The replacement market’s design reflects detailed discussions with a range of stakeholders. It will deliver much-needed new facilities and a significant number of benefits to users. The overall effect will be enhanced quality of fish landed.”
The new market will include four temperature-controlled/chilled bays extending to 1,600 square metres, compared to 726 square metres in the current market.
There will also more space for palletising fish and a 400 square metre chilled transport corridor to improve dispatch. The chilling system will be more environmentally-friendly and energy-efficient.
It will be sited next to the L-shaped Mair’s Quay which was purpose built in 2013 and improves access from land and sea. The deep-water pier was inaugurated last year and provides more working area, while the dock shelters the market landing berths.
Tulloch Developments has already been undertaking road access and car parking works under a separate contract which is now substantially complete. The water depth at the quay and approaches were pre-deepened to 6.2 metres during capital dredging in 2008.
New, separately funded, offices for other industry stakeholders will be included in the development.
The £7.6 million investment by the port authority is supported by £1.73 million funding from the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund and £587,000 from Highlands and Islands Enterprise.