Survey shows demand for business premises

Discussions will be held with business operators after demand for more premises was highlighted.

It comes after Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) carried out a survey aimed at assessing demand for both commercial land and property.

The survey was carried out at the end of last year in partnership with Shetland Islands Council, Hjatland Housing Association and Shetland Arts Development Agency.

Thirty businesses, community groups and social enterprises responded.

HIE says More than a tenth of responses came from inward investors in the food and drink, manufacturing and aquaculture sectors, demonstrating the potential for industry and population growth.

A range of sectors including space, community development, engineering and software development completed the survey.

The research found that 75 per cent of businesses would prefer to purchase instead of rent a property. Those who took part in the survey felt that there is little suitable commercial property currently available.

In the North Isles, following demand from local companies, North Yell Development Council is undertaking ambitious developments at Cullivoe Harbour to help firms grow, create new jobs and attract more visitors.

The project secured around £250,000 from HIE and work is already underway to create ten serviced sites for expanding businesses, most of which operate in the marine sector.

HIE manager Katrina Wiseman said: “This is really useful feedback for us and for our partners to investigate future options to help address demand.

“The research shows a strong need for workshops, offices and manufacturing space both from a wide range of businesses and organisations who want to expand and create new jobs. This requirement is expected to grow in the future as the economy recovers from the impacts of the pandemic.

“We are having more in-depth conversations with those who took part in the survey to realise some of the demand that’s there.”


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