A project to expand a business park in the North Isles of Shetland has secured investment totalling more than £500,000.
The development is at Cullivoe, on Yell, where the small community of around 200 people is at the heart of fishing, aquaculture, renewable energy and marine tourism.
North Yell Development Council (NYDC) hopes a bigger business park will help local firms grow, create new jobs and attract more visitors.
NYDC’s project is expected to lead to about 25 new jobs over the next three years.
This will allow our community to fulfil aspirations for the business park and marina development that have been pursued for the last 11 years.”
Andrew Nisbet, North Yell Development Council.
A total of 10 serviced sites for new or expanding businesses will be created following high demand from local companies, the majority of which operate in the marine sector.
HIE is investing £248,545 in site servicing costs for the phase two project to extend the existing business park at Cullivoe harbour.
MFS has awarded £250,000, while Shetland Islands Council (SIC) has chipped in a further £25,000 to allow work to be completed by spring next year.
Rural Affairs and Islands Secretary Mairi Gougeon, said: “This is an exciting development and the funding underlines our commitment to supporting rural and coastal communities.
“Creating jobs across a spectrum of fishing, aquaculture and renewable energy will deliver wider benefits across the local and regional economy.”
HIE area manager Katrina Wiseman said the project would “enhance Cullivoe’s already impressive track record in contributing to the social and economic wellbeing and growth of the region.
Ms Wiseman added: “Extending the business park 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.”
The new area has been designed to reduce environmental impact as far as possible in relation to carbon emissions.
This includes materials excavated being recycled for use on-site.
A future phase of work is expected to pave the way for increased renewable energy development, including onshore power for vessels, and vehicle charging points.
Cullivoe is Shetland’s third largest fishing port and ranked eighth in Scotland, with annual fish landings totalling around £6.9 million.
The business park expansion will more than treble the size of Cullivoe Industrial Estate, adding around 130,000sq ft to the existing 62,500sq ft of land under NYDC ownership.
The original park, created in 2003, is currently home to three businesses employing a total of 19 people and supporting the export of valuable produce.
NYDC recently undertook research among local businesses, finding that many firms operating in the marine sector were keen to expand their premises and operations.
An earlier phase of the expansion project involved site clearance and excavation.
Construction is now under way on the creation of a new marina, with a 28-berth pontoon for community and visitor use.
NYDC has previously levered in £1.8m for the overall project from the Scottish Land Fund, Regeneration Capital Grant Fund, Coastal Communities Fund and SIC, as well as committing more than £400,000 of its own resources.
Andrew Nisbet, director, NYDC, said further work would have been impossible without the latest cash injection.
‘Demand for sites on the business park has been high’
He added: “This will allow our community to fulfil aspirations for the business park and marina development that have been pursued for the last 11 years.
“Demand for sites on the business park has been high, with all sites set to be occupied on completion.
“This project also represents the first major community payback from our wind farm, which we hope will be the first of many.”