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Community / Tourism funding means Asta campsite is over half way towards financial target

Fresh calls have also been made for motorhome parking bays in Lerwick

The proposed site. Image: Scalloway Community Development Company/Malcolmson Architects/Shetland Islands Council

SECURING grant money worth around £250,000 means that a proposed caravan park and campsite at Asta is now over half way towards reaching its funding target.

Scalloway Community Development Company chairman Davie Sandison said that the total estimated cost of the plans are roughly £400,000.

He said it was “fantastic” that the development company secured the sizeable funding from Scottish Government’s rural tourism infrastructure fund.

“As soon as we get to 90 plus per cent of what we need we can make it go,” Sandison said.

The development company has also bid for money from the newly established Crown Estate fund, which is administered by the council, with results expected soon.

Sandison said the development company is looking to go out to tender as soon as possible on the project when the funding is in place.

He said it would be “brilliant” to have the campsite ready by the end of 2020, but it would be even better if things could be completed before then – Covid restrictions allowing.

Sandison hoped that a site would be both attractive to locals as well as visitors. “There’s a lack of facilities [in the central mainland] full stop,” he said.

The project already has planning permission from Shetland Islands Council.

The subject of provision for motorhomes and caravans was also raised at a meeting of Lerwick Community Council on Monday evening.

Community councillor Andy Carter said he was keen to see even just dedicated parking spaces for motorhomes introduced in Lerwick.

It comes after the campsite at the Clickimin was removed a number of years ago.

Carter felt “there will be more folk coming to Shetland and using the facilities that we have” if travel restrictions to Europe remain in the future.

Gary Robinson suggested that the Crown Estate fund could also be a potential source of grant money for any Lerwick campsite or motorhome idea.

A site at the end of Sea Road was floated as one potential location for a campsite but the road conditions were considered to be a likely barrier.