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Community / SIC to spend half a million over coming financial year to support Tall Ships event

The Polish ship Dar Mlodziezy at the 2011 Tall Ships in Shetland. Photo: Billy Fox

SHETLAND Islands Council is in line to spend more than £550,000 this coming financial year to support the Tall Ships Races’ visit to Lerwick in 2023.

A meeting of the council’s development committee heard on Monday that there will be a similar spend in the 2023/24 financial year.

Councillors previously approved stumping up cash to support Lerwick hosting the event.

Development director Neil Grant said £1.23 million in total has been allocated.

The money will go to the Shetland Tall Ships Ltd company – which counts council convener Malcolm Bell as its chairman – to oversee things.

When councillors backed the bid in 2019, there was an acknowledgement of the wider benefits of hosting the event – the boost for local residents, Shetland as a whole and tourism.

The tall ships are scheduled to visit Lerwick for the third time between 26 and 29 July 2023. It has previously hosted it in 1999 and 2011.

Emma Miller, who leads Living Lerwick, has been appointed to manage the four-day event.

Other host ports for the 2023 event include Den Helder in the Netherlands, Hartlepool and Fredrikstad in Norway.

The Tall Ships Races, organised by Sail Training International, provides sail training opportunities for young people aged 15-25 on a fleet of grand vessels.