UHI Shetland - Open the door to your future
Thursday 20 June 2024
 12.1°C   WSW Fresh Breeze
Ocean Kinetics - The Engineering Experts

Community / Fair Isle bird observatory rebuild gets £500k charitable trust bridging loan

Fair Isle.

THE WORK to rebuild the Fair Isle bird observatory has been boosted with the award of a £500,000 loan from Shetland Charitable Trust.

The money is coming from the trust’s capital bridging works loan scheme.

This is designed to provide interest free loans to alleviate cash flow issues capital projects are waiting for other funding to come through. The maximum loan is £1.5 million.

Work is well underway on building a new Fair Isle bird observatory after the previous one succumbed to a large fire in 2019.

It was announced in 2021 that the Scottish Government and Highlands and Islands Enterprise were putting around £2.35 million into the project, when was then costed at £7.4 million.

The project is also being supported by the trust’s own funds, as well as an international crowdfunding appeal.

The Shetland Islands Council administered Crown Estate Coastal Communities Fund and the Garfield Weston Foundation have also contributed to the project.

However, the rebuild project has suffered delays, including in transporting the building’s modular units to Fair Isle, and at the moment the trust which operates the bird observatory is planning to reopen in 2024.

All of the modules have been transported to Fair Isle and have been put in place.

Some other projects which have benefited from the charitable trust’s capital bridging works loan scheme in recent years include Hillswick Wildlife Sanctuary, Scalloway Community Development Company and the Papa Stour History and Community Group.

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.