THE PROPOSED new Lerwick fish market has received a funding boost to the tune of over £1.5 million.
Lerwick Port Authority has secured £1.18 million from the EU’s European and Maritime Fisheries Fund (EMFF) for the project, while the Scottish Government has pledged almost £400,000.
The total cost of the new and larger market, which will be built next to the recently opened Mair’s Pier, is estimated at £6.3 million.
Local civil engineering firm Tulloch Developments has already been granted an £800,000 contract to construct an access road and car parking for the new fish market and work on the main building is expected to begin later this year.
The new market will provide an upgrade on the facilities at the existing premises near the east end of Commercial Road. It comes as Scalloway’s fish market is also set to be rebuilt and extended as part of a £3 million development.
Lerwick Port Authority senior commercial executive Victor Sandison said an announcement will be made soon regarding the contract for constructing the market.
“The replacement Lerwick market is something that the port authority has been planning for some time now, so we’re naturally delighted with today’s announcement on EMFF and Scottish Government funding support taking us a step closer towards delivering the project,” he said.
“There are a few details to be finalised, including conclusion of the competitive tendering process, before we’ll be in a position to award a contract, but we’re working towards that just now and hope to be in a position to make an announcement on that in the coming weeks.”
A number of other Shetland projects have benefitted from EMFF money in the scheme’s latest round of funding.
Olnafirth Sea Farm bagged nearly £49,000 to spend on mussel farm modernisation, while Hunter Shellfish Limited received a similar amount to expand its business.
The whitefish trawler Sharyn Louise LK250 secured £19,000 for a new propeller and nozzle and Poleson Marine received £2,325 for engine modernisation.
Victor Robertson Fishing Co Limited got £1,152 for insulated containers, Robertson Fishing Limited received just under £1,000 for insulated fish tubs and shellfish boat Osprey KY445 was given money for a new liferaft.
Rural economy secretary Fergus Ewing said he would continue to press Westminster to consider Scotland and its fishing industry when thinking about its future funding arrangements once the UK leaves the EU.
“This support will help processing businesses to expand and enhance their work and make the day to day routines of fishermen easier and safer, by improving the quality of its products and enabling them to develop more environmentally friendly methods,” he said.
“I will continue to put pressure on the UK Government to engage Scotland on its thinking regarding future funding arrangements in order that we can shape a set of arrangements which respond to Scotland’s needs and reflect the devolved nature of marine policy.”
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