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Business / Tall Ships brought millions into the local economy, report confirms

Over 16,000 unique visitors attended the Tall Ships Races during the four day event. Photo: ShetlandFlyer

THIS summer’s Tall Ships event in Lerwick is estimated to have boosted the local economy by £4.5 million, according to an impact assessment carried out by EKOS consultancy.

More than 52,000 visitors – 16,165 unique attendees – were counted over the hugely popular four-day event in late July.

Interviews revealed very high levels of satisfaction from participants and visitors, including from those attending cruise-in company locations of Baltasound, Cullivoe, Aberdeen and Stromness.

Staging the Tall Ships extravaganza, the third after 1999 and 2011, cost £2.3 million, with just over half of this coming from public funds.

Organisers were particularly pleased with the way the local business community supported the event. Almost half a million pounds – in cash and in in-kind services – were raised through sponsorships.

These were all essential for event delivery and testament to the fantastic support from so many businesses to provide a quality event, organiser Shetland Tall Ships Limited said.

The objectives of the company formed to stage the Tall Ships visit was to provide an enjoyable event showcasing Shetland as a place to live and work, promote tourism and sailing, engage with young people, develop skills and community confidence.

This has been overwhelmingly met, the company’s chair, former council convener Malcolm Bell, said.

“As the year draws to a close, the positive event impact assessment allows us to look back on what has been a memorable landmark event in the Shetland calendar,” he added.

“My thanks to everyone involved in making this such a huge success.

“In conjunction with our main funding partner at Shetland Islands Council, we are turning our attention to some of the longer term legacy impacts that may be enabled through hosting the event.”

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