Community / High building costs put Unst recycling centre project on hold

A drop-in event will be held at the Baltasound Hall on 21 May to explore ways forward for the project

Photo: Chris Cope/Shetland News

PLANS for a green-themed expansion of a community facility in Unst to create a purpose-built recycling and upcycling centre have hit a hurdle due to the high building costs.

Unst Partnership, which runs a second hand shop in Baltasound in addition to the local community skip scheme, had floated the idea of expanding with larger premises.


A laundry and an accessible Changing Places toilet was also mooted, in addition to a repair and recycling workshop.

But estimates for the project came back at over £2 million – meaning the project has been put on hold.

The partnership has now drawn up alternative ideas, with a drop-in event due to be held at the Baltasound Hall on 21 May between 10am and 4pm to allow folk to view and comment on the ideas.

The new ideas include the prospect of a smaller scale building or renovating an existing property.

A key focus on the original plans was on recycling and upcycling unwanted items.

Residents of Unst were invited to send in ideas and comments.

When adding in proposed Polycrubs into the mix, however, the grand plans were met with estimates of more than £2.5 million.

Directors felt this would be a huge task when it came to fundraising, and would led to high running costs.

The partnership’s chair Gordon Thomson said about the latest ideas: “It may be that we find alternative existing premises and convert but there is nowhere obvious right now.”

Meanwhile the event at the Baltasound Hall on 21 May will be followed by the Unst Partnership AGM at 4.15pm.