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Accommodation shortage

Accommodation barge at Morrison Dock: accommodation for between 500 and 1,500 workers will be required until 2024 - Photo: ShetNews

THE SHORTAGE of accommodation in Shetland is set to continue for another ten years, according to a new report by Highlands and Islands Enterprise.

And the shortfall in workers’ accommodation is likely to keep prices for rented accommodation beyond what many families can afford.

The report, which is due to be discussed at a meeting of the community planning partnership, calls on private industry to develop housing and workers’ accommodation in the isles.

Last year, more than 3,000 travelling workers were employed building the Shetland Gas Plant and maintaining the Sullom Voe Terminal.

With the near completion of the gas plant, demand for workers will reduce but it is still estimated that accommodation for between 500 and 1,500 workers will be required until 2024.

HIE said Shetland’s economic performance was held back by the shortage of accommodation.

Over coming years extra labour is needed as a whole raft of energy projects are likely to be developed including the SVT gas sweetening plant, Chevron’s Rosebank development, the new Lerwick power station, oil field decommissioning as well as the Viking Energy wind farm.

Further pressure is likely to come from the Anderson High School project as well as building new housing estates.

HIE area manager for Shetland, Rachel Hunter said: “The shortage of accommodation in Shetland has no doubt held back economic growth and it is clear that there will be continuing pressure even after the completion of the Shetland Gas Plant.

“There will still be opportunities for the private sector in housing development and agencies in Shetland will be looking to work together to consider how we can help.”

The Shetland Worker Accommodation Report 2015 is available to download at www.hie.co.uk/shetland-2015