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Community / Businesses hard at work to put everything in place for Tall Ships

Lerwick Harbour's Victoria Pier. Photo: Shetland Tall Ships Ltd.

WITH less than two weeks to go until the return of the Tall Ships Races to Lerwick, the local business community is mobilising to make sure all the key infrastructure needed is in place.

Almost 40 different firms and organisations have pledged logistical, organisational and financial support to ensure Lerwick is fully geared up for the four-day event, which runs from 26th to 29th July.

Garriock Brothers is helping with event setup including the provision of plant hire and site works, while construction firm Tulloch Developments is supplying the sand for the ‘Costa Del Fun’ beach as well as other trade services.

Haulier Northwards will be delivering the toilets, shower units and waste skips required for the festival.

The company’s commercial director Neil Leslie said: “As a Shetland-based business with international sea links, we have a close affinity to the event and are very proud to be playing our part in its overall success.”

With major concerts and lots more entertainment across two stages and other venues throughout the four days, local production company Active Audio is playing an important role in delivering an extensive programme of live activity.

Meanwhile, Shetland Fishermen is the collective term for three key seafood bodies representing an industry landing £138 million-worth of fish and shellfish every year, acting as a crucial cornerstone of the local economy.

Brian Isbister, chief executive of member body Shetland Fish Producers’ Organisation, said: “It’s fantastic to support the Tall Ships Races once again bringing boatloads of enthusiastic young folk from all over the world to Shetland’s shores.

“Hopefully they will leave with an appetite for Shetland’s world-class seafood, and an appreciation of a fishing tradition that stretches over thousands of years into today’s modern, dynamic and locally owned Shetland fishing fleet.”

Another sponsor is cleaning supplier Shetland Janitorial, whose warehouse manager Stuart Peterson said his firm was “just happy that we are able to help support the occasion in some way and wish all organisers, visitors and participants every success and a great event”.

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Shetland Tall Ships Ltd is also benefiting from sponsorship support from the energy industry, including the growing renewables sector.

A spokesman for ESB Asset Management, which is developing a 500MW floating wind farm off the east coast of the islands, said it was “delighted to support this spectacular maritime event”.

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