Housing / Still no luck in finding contractor for Whalsay council house refurbishment

AFTER repeated attempts Shetland Islands Council (SIC) has still not successfully found a contractor for the refurbishment of housing in Whalsay.

The contract which most recently went out to market earlier this year included the full internal and external refurbishment of 12 council properties, priced at £3.2 million, but no tenders were received.

But this was a fourth time at tendering, with the SIC failing to find a suitable contractor in previous attempts.

The issue was brought up at a meeting of the SIC’s development committee on Wednesday.

Development director Neil Grant suggested the council was going to assess whether it could do things differently in terms of tendering work.

It has tended to be a wider issue in Shetland in recent years, and Grant said the size of contracts involved have occasionally posed problems.

He also said another matter is whether companies are prepared to potentially group together on contracts.


Grant added that travelling to island location can also pose a challenge in time and cost for contractors.

But councillors were reassured that general maintenance is still ongoing at the properties and that the houses are kept under review.

“But at the end of the day there’s a requirement to get the refurbishment done, and we’re looking at ways to achieve that,” Grant added.

Housing manager Anita Jamieson suggested one way forward could be to see which pieces of work can be prioritised.

Shetland South councillor Allison Duncan said the situation seemed “pretty serious”.

North Isles member Duncan Anderson, who is from Whalsay, is not a member of the committee.

But speaking after the meeting he said: “I am, again, disappointed that we have still not found a contractor for the Harlsdale project after several attempts and varied approaches.

“I am assured that the refurbishment remains a priority and will be looking for further updates about how this can be progressed.”

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