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HIE Board visits Shetland

Published: 26/10/2022

The board of Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) visited businesses and community enterprises in Shetland this week (24-26 October) while the organisation’s latest board meeting took place at Solarhus, Lerwick.

Nova Innovation

On Monday afternoon, the board members paid a visit to Lerwick Port Authority to hear about the plans to develop an ultra-deep-water quay at Dales Voe. The project intends to further enhance port facilities and allow for a significant volume of future decommissioning work and offshore wind opportunities that will create many jobs. 

The board members also heard about the Orion initiative which will position Shetland as a Clean Energy Island. They also engaged with Norn, a collaboration of Shetland’s engineering businesses who are looking to maximise opportunities offered by offshore wind.

Afterwards, they Peterson Shetland Ltd to discuss Greenhead base infrastructure aspirations before taking part in an engagement session with around 40 local business and community representatives at Shetland Museum in Lerwick.

On Tuesday 25, the group travelled by ferry to Yell and visited community development company, North Yell Development Council (NYDC), the Li6 Periwinkle project, C&A Thomason Ltd’s mussel facility and Nova Innovation.

Nova Innovation have three tidal turbines in the Bluemill Sound generating renewable energy and supporting the first ever electric vehicle charge point where drivers can fill up directly from a tidal energy source.

NYDC is undertaking an ambitious development at Cullivoe Harbour to help businesses grow, create new jobs and attract more visitors. HIE has invested £248,545 in site servicing costs to extend the existing business park at Cullivoe Harbour. The key infrastructure development is expected to lead to the creation of around 25 new jobs in the next three years.

On Wednesday 26, the Board visited two community enterprises in Scalloway. The Shetland Bus Friendship Society operate the 100% volunteer run Scalloway Museum and they engaged with the Scalloway Community Development Company, which is driving forward a range of ambitious projects including the creation of a new camping and recreation facility at Asta in Tingwall, having secured £133,754 from HIE for the project.

The overall vision of the Asta project is to enhance the range of facilities for local people and visitors to Shetland, and in particular to attract more visitors to the village of Scalloway.

Alistair Dodds, Chair of HIE, said: “It was great to be back in Shetland with our Board. We had a really interesting programme of visits and an excellent engagement session with businesses and community-led organisations discussing the challenges and opportunities facing them such as transport, skills and housing as well as hearing about their perceptions of HIE. 

“It’s also positive to see how Shetland’s key economic players are working collaboratively to embrace our net zero ambitions, including opportunities from offshore wind, tidal energy and green hydrogen. The opportunity for Shetland in this area is significant due to its strategic location.

Stuart Black, Chief Executive of HIE, added: “There is so much happening with our community clients too. In Yell, the development council is creating key enabling infrastructure supporting the growth of aquaculture businesses based there and providing facilities for the marine tourism sector through their newly built marina and extended business park.

“The major infrastructure development by NYDC will see the business park at Cullivoe trebling in size, which will enable the growth of businesses on Yell and create well paid jobs in the marine sector, ultimately supporting the retention of families in the island and attracting skills and talent to the area. There really is a lot to shout about in Yell.”

HIE conducts six board meetings annually at various venues around the Highlands and Islands.