An innovative project in Scalloway has been praised by councillors as an example for other communities to follow.
The Scalloway Local Place Plan is one of the first of its kind anywhere in Scotland.
“It is really about bringing people together to make a difference in their area,” said team leader for coastal zone management Simon Pallant.
Some of the pilot project’s top priorities – including demolition and redevelopment of the village’s former youth club and expansion of parking at Burn Beach – are already in the pipeline, with planning permission in place.
Improved waterfront walkways, pier restoration and improvements to Fraser Park also feature in the plan.
The community in Scalloway and its community council have been the driving force behind the plan, which could be a blueprint for other areas across Shetland and Scotland.
The project has been an “ongoing process” since 2018, according to Mr Pallant, who prepared the report in front of councillors at Tuesday’s remote development committee meeting.
Scottish government funding allowed the ‘Re-Create Scalloway’ consultation and workshops to take place.
Councillors heaped praise on the project and its potential implications for other communities across the isles.
Taking this plan forward showed the “flair and capability in Scalloway”, said committee chairman Alastair Cooper.
Mr Cooper also highlighted the “significant” engagement that had taken place with young folk.
The public consultation included events at the Scalloway Youth and Community Centre, Scalloway Primary School and Anderson High School, with 296 young people engaged.
The level of community engagement, and joint working on planning and community planning, was on a “level rarely done before in Shetland”, according to Mr Pallant’s report.
Council leader Steven Coutts labelled it a “genuine partnership effort” between the local authority and community.
Councillor Stephen Flaws said he hoped the plan would encourage other communities to come forward with their own ideas – something echoed by Andrea Manson.
“You really cannot praise this enough,” she said, with other areas such as Sandwick, Brae, Nesting and Voe seeing what is possible.
Meanwhile, Moraig Lyall said one of the “real strengths” of the plan was it wasn’t “just a report”. The project had achieved “such a great balance” of conserving “what is good about Scalloway” in the present while developing for the future.
The plan will be brought before the full council on 9th September for final approval.