UHI Shetland - Open the door to your future
Thursday 18 July 2024
 11.5°C   S Light Breeze
Ocean Kinetics - The Engineering Experts

Community / Norway ties strengthened with ‘historic’ friendship agreement

Meanwhile a donation has been given from Norway for a replica boat cradle and slipway restoration marking the Shetland Bus operation

Handing over the donation for the slipway project. From left to right: Aasund Andersone, Jenny Heggvik and Jim Young. All photos: Chris Cope/Shetland News

SHETLAND’s long-standing connection with Norway was strengthened in Scalloway on Saturday morning when a new friendship agreement was signed with a region west of Bergen.

The agreement previously linked Scalloway – which became the home of the Shetland Bus landings – with Sund in Norway.

But the new agreement, signed at the Scalloway Museum, links to the wider region of  Øygarden Kommune near Bergen and also includes the community councils representing Tingwall, Whiteness and Weisdale, Nesting and Lunnasting as well as Burra and Trondra.

Meanwhile a donation from Norway worth nearly £50,000 was also handed over for a project to create a replica boat cradle at the Prince Olav slipway in the centre of Scalloway.

Local councillor Davie Sandison and Øygarden Kommune mayor Tom Georg Indrevik signing the new friendship agreement.

The proposal is to replace the current steel cradle, which was built in the 1970s and is no longer in use and corroding, with a replica of the one which was used there during the Second World War.

That wartime cradle, built in 1942 from wood, was used as part of the covert operation to ferry people to Britain from Nazi-occupied Norway.

The project is being led by the Shetland Bus Friendship Society.

A delegation of visitors from Øygarden Kommune are in Shetland this weekend, with the museum visit part of a packed schedule which also involves a walking tour.

It also coincides with a large number of Norwegian yachts berthed at Lerwick this weekend after the first leg of the annual Bergen-Shetland boat race.

Scalloway Community Council’s Mark Burgess said at the event: “The beauty of this friendship agreement is it is whatever we want it to be – and may it outlast all of us here.”

Become a supporter of Shetland News


The agreement, which helps to strengthen ties between Shetland and Norway, was first signed 2014.

Local councillor Davie Sandison has been involved in the new agreement.

He said the discussions with the visiting delegation in the past couple of days have been “really productive”.

Øygarden Kommune mayor Tom Georg Indrevik added that putting pen to paper on the new agreement was a “historic moment”.

The new agreement involves more Shetland community councils. From left to right: Mark Burgess of Scalloway Community Council, Øygarden Kommune mayor Tom Georg Indrevik, cultural representative of Øygarden Christel Movik-Olsen, Nesting and Lunnasting Community Council’s Chris Leask, Tingwall, Whiteness and Weisdale’s Dilys Evans, Burra and Trondra Community Council’s Niall O’Rourke, local councillor Davie Sandison.

Speaking on his first visit to Shetland, he said the hope is to bring young people from the region to the isles next year.

Meanwhile the new donation to the slipway project means that more than 80 per cent of its projected cost has now been met. It will be constructed by local firm Malakoff, which owns and operates the shipyard at the slipway.

The total estimated cost is around £120,000 and funding has already been secured from the likes of the Scalloway Museum and fishing and salmon companies.

Jenny Heggvik, who represented the ‘Friends of Norway’ group and helped to hand over the cheque, said the fundraising drive from Norway started in 2020, with municipalities, the Norway navy, businesses and individuals all contacted.

Jim Young of Shetland Bus Friendship Society.

Jim Young of the Shetland Bus Friendship Society thanked the many friends in Norway for raising the “major contribution”.

He added that the idea’s origins actually came at a Jenna and Bethany Reid gig in Bergen in 2019, with representatives from Øygarden Kommune expressing a desire to press ahead with the project,

The slipway was built in 1942 and was essential for the repair of Norwegian boats which travelled across the North Sea.

Young said the restored slipway will be a “new attraction in Scalloway, which will contribute to a larger project to redevelop the whole of the Scalloway waterfront”.

He said it also acts a reminder of the part the Scalloway people played in “opening their homes and hearts to the Norwegian boys during the war and also the refugees who fled occupied Norway”.

Referring to the Ukraine invasion, Young added: “It makes the restored slipway more than just a memorial – but a reminder that recent circumstances in Europe challenges us to measure up to the ideals of that wartime generation.”

Become a supporter of Shetland News

Shetland News is asking its many readers to consider start paying for their dose of the latest local news delivered straight to their PC, tablet or mobile phone.

Journalism comes at a price and because that price is not being paid in today’s rapidly changing media world, most publishers - national and local - struggle financially despite very healthy audience figures.

Most online publishers have started charging for access to their websites, others have chosen a different route. Shetland News currently has  over 600 supporters  who are all making small voluntary financial contributions. All funds go towards covering our cost and improving the service further.

Your contribution will ensure Shetland News can: -

  • Bring you the headlines as they happen;
  • Stay editorially independent;
  • Give a voice to the community;
  • Grow site traffic further;
  • Research and publish more in-depth news, including more Shetland Lives features.

If you appreciate what we do and feel strongly about impartial local journalism, then please become a supporter of Shetland News by either making a single payment or monthly subscription.

Support us from as little as £3 per month – it only takes a minute to sign up. Thank you.



Subscribe to a selection of different newsletters from Shetland News, varying from breaking news delivered on the minute, to a weekly round-up of the opinion posts. All delivered straight to your inbox.

Daily Briefing Newsletter Weekly Highlights Newsletter Opinion Newsletter Life in Shetland Newsletter

JavaScript Required

We're sorry, but Shetland News isn't fully functional without JavaScript enabled.
Head over to the help page for instructions on how to enable JavaScript on your browser.

Your Privacy

We use cookies on our site to improve your experience.
By using our service, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Cookie Policy.

Browser is out-of-date

Shetland News isn't fully functional with this version of .
Head over to the help page for instructions on updating your browser for more security, improved speed and the best overall experience on this site.

Interested in Notifications?

Get notifications from Shetland News for important and breaking news.
You can unsubscribe at any time.

Become a supporter of Shetland News

We're committed to ensuring everyone has equitable access to impartial, open and quality local journalism that benefits all residents.

By supporting Shetland News, you play a vital role in ensuring we remain a pivotal resource in supporting the community.

Support us from as little as £3 per month – it only takes a minute to sign up. Thank you.