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Transport / Council could pay up to £2.8m for new Fair Isle ferry and harbour works

The Fair Isle ferry Good Shepherd IV at Grutness Pier. Photo: Ronnie Robertson

SHETLAND Islands Council could stump up £2.8 million towards a new Fair Isle ferry and associated infrastructure if a prospective funding bid is successful.

The council plans to bid again to the UK Government’s Levelling Up fund for a replacement Good Shepherd plus harbour work at Fair Isle and Grutness in South Mainland.

It initially bid last year but was knocked back – and feedback from the government suggested there should be money committed from another source outside of the Levelling Up fund.

Councillors will be asked over the coming weeks to approve that the local authority contributes up to 10 per cent of the full project cost, should the second bid be successful.

With the estimated total cost now rising to £28 million, this means the council’s contribution could be up to £2.8 million, which would be funded by borrowing.

Meanwhile there is a delay on some background work to the project after two tenders submitted for ground investigation work were unable to be accepted.

A contract notice was published in October seeking suitable tenders to undertake the work in Fair Isle and Grutness from the end of February for land based work, and the beginning of April for marine jobs.

The decision was taken to retender the contract in line with a revised programme.

A revised outline business case for project is expected to be presented to the council’s environment and transport committee in June or September.