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Business / Ulsta shop to close

Yell Community Council chairman says it is ‘very, very disappointing’ and a decision which ‘came out of the blue’

A backlog of traffic formed at the Ulsta ferry terminal on Thursday morning. Photo: Hazel Robertson
The Ulsta shop, pictured on the right, sits close to the ferry terminal connecting Yell to the Shetland mainland. Photo: Hazel Robertson

THE OWNERS of the Ulsta Shop in Yell have confirmed that it is to cease trading in five weeks’ time.

A post on the shop’s Facebook page confirmed it would close on 7 November. It said any customers who had queries could email checkout_scalloway@yahoo.co.uk

This summer the shop – which is located next to the ferry terminal – announced it was closing temporarily for a fortnight due to issues sourcing frozen and refrigerated goods.

The shop is run by businessman Ian Cunynghame, who also owns DG Leslie’s in Lerwick and The Checkout in Scalloway.

Cunynghame also owns Captain Flint’s in Lerwick and was last year granted planning permission to turn the pirate-themed pub into flats. It has not reopened since the Covid-19 pandemic enforced the temporary closure of all hospitality businesses in early 2020.

The Ulsta Shop owner has been approached for comment.

Yell Community Council chairman Laurence Odie said it was “very, very disappointing” that the shop was closing.

He said the decision had “come out of the blue” and the wider island community was only made aware after staff received their redundancy notices.

“It is a concern for the south east corner of Yell and the traveling public, as well as obviously the staff that are losing their jobs,” he said.

The area’s post office also closed a few months ago and Odie said that while good local shops do remain elsewhere in Yell there was a “convenience factor” with the Ulsta Shop being cited next to the ferry terminal.

“It would be good to see it being extended or kept open for longer,” he said. “Travelling people use it all the time, commuters, to get various items including [fuel], food and hot pies.”