A NEW quay for trawlers at Lerwick harbour was today officially handed over by the construction contractors in a major boost for the Shetland fishing industry.
The new Mair’s Quay is the first step in a larger project for a replacement white fish market to be built at the site.
A spokesman for the Lerwick Port Authority said: “Design of the market is continuing through 2013, including discussions with industry stakeholders on the services and facilities required. Once designed, tenders will be invited with a view to then putting a funding package together in spring next year, prior to a construction contract award.
“The quay project was triggered by the Scottish Government’s allocation of £965,283 from the European Fisheries Fund (EFF) towards the £3.17 million cost.”
He continued: The new 151 metre quay increases the area available at Holmsgarth, where North Holmsgarth is currently congested with net and gear handling, provides additional berthing, and will be a temporary facility for other sectors, including the oil and gas industry at a time of high activity.
“The overall development will bring benefits in the landing, handling and onward transportation of fish, in servicing vessels, in energy efficiency, and in staff welfare facilities.”
Sandra Laurenson, the authority’s chief executive, said: “The quay is another valuable addition to the harbour’s resources and underlines the commitment of the Scottish Government and the Authority to sustaining and developing the fishing industry’s future.
“The combination of quay and market will bring significant improvements and benefits to the sector’s operations and reinforce Lerwick’s position as a leading centre for landing fish.
“Meantime, the quay will be put to good use ahead of the new market.”