Contract awarded for new Lerwick market

Contract awarded for new Lerwick market Completion of a new fishmarket at Mair’s Quay will transform the Holmsgarth area into a new fishing hub at Lerwick Harbour. Image: Simon Thompson, Ronas Media

In the latest phase in development of Lerwick’s fishing industry hub, construction of a replacement white fish market is scheduled to begin this month – in a project expected to more than double landing capacity at the Shetland port, the the second largest UK port for fish landings.

Following competitive tendering, Tulloch Developments Ltd has been appointed main contractor by Lerwick Port Authority, with a completion date in early 2020. Design has been undertaken by Arch Henderson which will also manage the build project.

The £7.6 million investment by the Authority is being supported by £1.73 million funding previously confirmed from the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund and £587,000 from Highlands and Islands Enterprise. The Authority’s lender, Bank of Scotland, is providing the remainder of the funding package.

“We are committed to sustaining and developing the fishing industry in Shetland, as a key component in the islands’ economy, by providing the required, modern facilities,” said Sandra Laurenson, Port Authority Chief Executive.

“The replacement market’s design reflects detailed discussions with a range of stakeholders. It will deliver much-needed new facilities and a significant number of benefits to users. The overall effect will be enhanced quality of fish landed.”

The four temperature-controlled/chilled bays will extend to 1600 square metres, compared to 726 square metres in the current market which was constructed in 1975, extended and refrigerated in 1993. It was further extended in 2009 to accommodate increased white fish landings and the electronic auction system was introduced in 2003.

There will also more space for palletising fish and a 400 square metre chilled transport corridor to improve dispatch. The chilling system will be more environmentally-friendly and energy-efficient.

The location on Mair’s Quay, purpose-built in 2013, will provide improved access both by land and sea, including better-suiting landings at all states of the tide.

Tulloch Developments has already been undertaking road access and car parking works under a separate contract which is now substantially complete. The water depth at the quay and approaches were pre-deepened to 6.2 metres during capital dredging in 2008.

The site is adjacent to the new L-shaped, deep-water Mair’s Pier, inaugurated last year, which provides more working area, while the dock shelters the market landing berths. Modern welfare facilities for all market users are also included in the development.

The combination of developments in the port’s Mair’s area will finalise a hub for the fishing industry and increase co-ordination and co-operation of activities. For example, first floor offices are to be built above part of the market for sector stakeholders, LHD Limited and Shetland Fish Producers Organisation. These offices, while incorporated into the overall building contract, are being funded separately by the companies which will own them.

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