Shetland's busy port at Lerwick welcomes both commercial and tourism traffic


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




miles of coastline


annual visitors


increase in technical jobs predicted by 2028

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

Sandwick social and economic development


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

Go to


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

Want to know more about how we could support your community development? Get in touch with our local Shetland office. 

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