Community / Sandness group secures funding to explore development ideas

The Sandness community. Photo: Sorley Johnston

THE SANDNESS community in Shetland’s Westside has secured funding to explore development opportunities in the area.

One key aim is keeping the Melby pier in the community after Shetland Islands Council decided to sell.

Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) is providing nearly £65,000 to Sandness Community Development Ltd over the next three years to employ a part-time development worker.

The hope is that the funding will also allow the group to “realise the opportunities” identified in its community development plan.

Sandness, at the end of an eight-mile single track road, is home to around 160 folk, along with the locally owned and run Jamieson’s spinning mill and Transition Turriefield.

Jo Barrett started as development worker in June and is working with residents to pull together ways to build a “safe, strong, sustainable and self-reliant community”.

HIE’s head of enterprise Fiona Stirling said: “Ensuring the sustainability of remote and rural communities such as Sandness is important to HIE and we look forward to working with Jo and Sandness Community Development as they drive forward community developments in the area.”


SCD chair Brian Ashley said local people are “coming up with all sorts of ideas” for possible development.

“As well as Melby pier, there’s tree planting, renewables, housing, children’s play facilities, and we’re ready to work with anyone who wants the best for Sandness,” he said.

Sandness Community Development will be holding its first AGM on 11 September at 7pm at Sandness Hall, and everyone with an interest is welcome.

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