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Tuesday 23 July 2024
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Community / New Fair Isle bird observatory now due to finished in 2024

Image: Colin Armstrong Architects

THE NEW Fair Isle Bird Observatory is now only expected to be fully completed in 2024.

It is the latest delay to the project, after first estimates suggested the building would be finished in spring 2023.

Last year it was confirmed that the team were working to a revised estimated opening date of autumn 2023.

But Fair Isle Bird Observatory Trust chairman Douglas Barr told Shetland News it is now only going to be finished in 2024.

Meanwhile proposed temporary accommodation in Fair Isle is “urgently required” to house workers for the rebuild.

Planning permission is being sought for five accommodation units and a canteen facility on land near the harbour.

Each unit would include two single beds and toilet and shower facilities.

The previous building burned down in 2019, with no injuries reported, and the new one is due to be constructed on the same site.

The bird observatory is a major contributor to tourism in the remote Fair Isle, which is located between the Shetland mainland and Orkney and has a population of around 40.

In October last year the first modular units for the replacement building were taken by barge to Fair Isle but the winter period had seen the project put on hold.

The initial cost estimate for the new bird observatory is £7.4 million, and this included a Scottish Government and Highlands and Islands Enterprise funding package of £2.35 million.

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