Funding request after tall ships security staff recruited from south

Councillors will next week be asked to give their backing to up to £18,000 in match funding which could pave the way for more public events in the isles.

The request for 2024/25 will, if approved by the full council, help provide training for stewarding at major attractions.

It comes after an event impact assessment showed organisers of last year’s Tall Ships Races had to recruit security staff from outside Shetland.

A report before next Wednesday’s development committee warned the ongoing lack of capacity creates “serious challenges” for the staging of future attractions.

Now, a recommendation is being made for the council to provide the funding to help address the problem after EventScotland pledged it would pay the same amount.

Councillors are also being asked to give their backing to an annual grant of up to £8,700 to Sail Training Shetland, to help cover the cost of training provision.

It is hoped this will deliver on the long term objectives of the Tall Ships Races.

The additional funding will, if approved, be drawn from the annual Crown Estate revenue distributions.

The report also highlights the benefits that the Tall Ships Races brought to Shetland.

The estimated net additional spend generated by the event in Shetland was £3 million, equating to an additional gross value added of £1.4m.

It is estimated there were 16,165 “unique” visitors to the event. Over a quarter of business respondents reported increased income, and media coverage valued at £604,632 was generated by the tall ships.

The lowest-rated aspect of the Tall Ships Races was food and drink pricing, with almost a third – 30 per cent – of visitors and 14 per cent of ship crewmembers rating this as either fairly poor or very poor.

Although the event was an overall success, the need to recruit security staff from outside Shetland is regarded as a lesson learned.

It is hoped the one-off grant will provide security training for people based in the isles.

Options including the recruitment of a local trainer and the engagement of a specialist external trainer have been identified.

It is estimated that costs of training a complement of 24 people, plus development costs, would be £36,000.


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