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Shetland

Be your creative best on the north western frontier of Europe.

About Shetland

No point on Shetland is further than three miles from the coast. The influence of the sea can be seen in every part of life on these islands.

With almost 1700 miles of coastline, the water around the 100 islands of Shetland is the lifeblood of its economy, from a seafood industry worth £300m a year to the leading aquaculture and oil industries. Enquest’s Sullum Voe oil and gas terminal stores oil from the North Sea and East Shetland Basin oilfields before it is distributed to refineries by tanker. Another key energy sector employer is Total’s Shetland Gas Plant processing plant, with advances in wind and wave energy becoming an important part of the island’s future.

On the north western frontier of Europe, Shetland is governed by Scotland and the UK, yet its Nordic heritage remains a vital part of its cultural identity. Dialect and place echo the islands’ Norse influence, which is famously celebrated each January when Vikings roam the streets at the world’s largest fire festival Up Helly Aa.

The contrasting influence of Scotland and Norway creates a vibrant cultural melting pot. The £12m Mareel Creative Industries Centre in Lerwick is where much of that creative energy is harnessed and spent.

Shetland’s population of 23,167 live across 16 inhabited islands, with overnight ferries connecting the Mainland to Scotland and regular flights from Sumburgh to Inverness, Aberdeen, Glasgow, Edinburgh and Manchester and Bergen, Norway.

About Shetland

23

Population

1700

miles of coastline

73

annual visitors

10

increase in technical jobs predicted by 2028

Shetland

Want to know a bit more about Shetland from the people who live there? Visit the local Shetland.org website.

Go to Shetland.org
Mareel Shetland
Malakoff has had a long term aim to establish a boatbuilding department. It will hopefully prove a useful asset to local boat operators and we hope that it will also generate more orders from outside of Shetland. We're grateful for HIE's assistance.
Ryan Stevenson, Project Manager, Malakoff

Our enterprising communities

Community-led social and economic development is key to success in many of our areas. Watch our film here from the Sandwick community. Their projects have allowed locals and tourists alike to share in the culture and heritage of their area.

Support for Community Organisations