Lerwick is understood to have won its bid to be a host port for the Tall Ships Race 2023 – providing a massive tourism and economic boost to the isles.
The popular sailing event – previously held in Shetland in 1999 and 2011 – would bring with it thousands of sailors and tourists to the islands.
The timing of the event will be even more significant as the isles, like elsewhere across the country, has suffered economically from the Covid crisis.
In 2011, when the massive flotilla of ships last visited, the event generated nearly £2.5 million for the local economy and attracted around 27,000 visitors.
Although Shetland Islands Council and Sail Training International, who run the event, were yesterday not commenting on the status regarding Lerwick being named as a host port, The Shetland Times has seen a confidential letter to councillors from chief executive Maggie Sandison confirming that Shetland had won its bid.
In the letter she stated: “It is clearly positive news that we’ve secured the event which will be a very welcome boost to our community after lockdowns, restrictions and so many community events being cancelled.”
Lerwick will be a host port along with Hartlepool, Liverpool, Fredrikstad in Norway, and Den Helder in the Netherlands.
More in today’s edition of The Shetland Times.