Jobs on the line at North Mainland hotel

The North Mainland has been dealt a new blow with news that close to 50 jobs are at risk at the Moorfield Hotel in Brae after Total announced plans to stop housing gas plant workers there.

A staff consultation process is underway at the hotel following a decision by the oil and gas giant to instead rely on the accommodation camp at Sella Ness.

Moorfield says it hopes to keep the hotel open and minimise the number of redundancies.

Earlier this year the Sella Ness camp was given the green light to stay open until the mid-20s when a Scottish government reporter ruled a decision by Shetland Islands Council’s to turn down permission had been unreasonable.

Since then the owners of the Moorfield, BDL Hotels, has begun seeking a judicial review to have the decision overturned.

It follows news earlier this year that Scatsta Airport would close.

A statement from the Moorfield Hotel said: “Sadly, we have started a staff consultation process regarding potential redundancies at the hotel.

“Whist we deeply regret the impact this will have on the fantastic team we have here, there are a number of uncertainties surrounding the future of the business, including the position on some longer term accommodation contracts.

“The decision to extend the planning for Sella Ness, along with lack of economic activity as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, is having a detrimental impact on the hotel’s trading.

“We will continue to pursue our Court of Session action against the Scottish government reporter’s flawed decision to allow Sella Ness to remain open until 2025.

“This is another example of the Reporter’s failure to consider the socio-economic impact of the camp.

“We hope to keep the hotel open and to minimise the number of redundancies.”

Total said: “From August, workers at the Shetland Gas Plant who require accommodation when working on the island will stay at the Sella Ness facility rather than the Moorfield Hotel.

“A five year contract for accommodation at Sella Ness has been agreed that will allow for a significant reduction in the cost of worker accommodation, whilst also providing the level of comfort our workforce expects.

“Total remains strongly committed to the West of Shetland and its operations at the Shetland Gas Plant.”


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