2023 Tall Ships bid races ahead

Plans to bid for the Tall Ships’ Race in 2023 have taken an important step forward, after councillors agreed to back the bid alongside supporting smaller scale events.

Councillors at Monday’s policy and resources committee meeting agreed to support the bid for the event, which Shetland has hosted twice before in 1999 and 2011.

Members had originally been asked to pick between a business justification case for the race or smaller scale events, but an amendment proposed by councillor George Smith replaced the “or” with an “and”.

Councillor Robbie McGregor earlier made a plea to support hosting the 2023 event. He said he had travelled “fairly extensively” over the last few months, and that the Tall Ships’ Race “always” cropped up in conversation.

Supporting events like these “puts this marvellous set of islands on the map,” he added.

Lerwick North councillor Stephen Leask said the race would be “a fantastic thing for Shetland” but also warned that the SIC should not be the only ones financing it.

The cost for hosting the race would be around £2.5m, with the council expected to contribute up to £1.39m of this, while the budget for smaller events would be £100,000.

The business case presented to councillors on Monday had preferred the development and promotion of smaller scale events, with a particular emphasis on those outside the main visitor season.

Tall Ships was ranked highest in terms of economic return, with the 2023 event potentially bringing in a £600,000 economic boost, but was ranked second when factoring in the risk and benefit factors.

Recommendations from the meeting will be carried through to a full council meeting on Wednesday.


Add Your Comment
  • John Thomas

    • November 28th, 2019 12:00

    Brilliant to see such an economic boost to the islands. Obviously it will be a double boost once we get Brexit done.

    • John Thomas

      • November 30th, 2019 8:44

      I even heard that the EU Safe Working (Height) Directive of 1978 / number 228 was going to be applied to Tall Ships, preventing the sailsman climbing the mast without safety gear. Once we get Brexit done we can be done with all this Health and Safety gone mad. I fell from a ship’s mast when I was 23. Never did me any harm.

  • Peter Hamilton

    • November 30th, 2019 14:53

    JT’s contribution puts me in mind of a well liked call to Nigel Farage on LBC for some reason: https://www.standard.co.uk/news/politics/nigel-farage-falls-for-prank-call-during-radio-phonein-i-turned-from-remainer-to-brexiteer-after-a4245981.html

    On EU health and safety it’s not so long since the Daily Express carried a piece condemning an EU ban on lawnmowers that were so loud they would deafen. Apparently it is a fundamental right of any Brit to be defended by their lawnmower.

    JT (to avoid the inevitable confusion with John Tulloch) might be interested to learn it isn’t only “sailsmen” that are allowed to participate in the Tall Ships race. Girls and young women are in fact allowed access to the rigging on some, if not all, vessels. This is the kind of progressive nonsense Shetland’s youngsters get exposed to by mixing from people from overseas. I trust that doesn’t shock him to the core.

    Of course some would say gendered events are an anachronism in this day and age. I dare say such concerns won’t be a problem once we Get Brexit Done!


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