THE £16.5 million expansion at Lerwick Harbour was officially opened today, with the new development named Mair’s Pier by Shetland MSP Tavish Scott.
The pier marks the largest single capital investment in the 140-year history of Lerwick Harbour Trust and its successor, Lerwick Port Authority, and it will be used by the entire fishing industry, as well as the offshore and cruise sectors.
The project involved land reclamation, construction of an 804m deep-water L-shaped quay, and demolition of a smaller jetty.
It also included building a working area over 1.5 ha for the fishing fleet and oil vessels. The outer arm creates a dock which will shelter the new market, with construction planned to start this year.
Tavish Scott said: ‘Lerwick Port Authority has, through the decades, invested in Shetland’s future. New quays, facilities and deeper, sheltered water reflect the needs of larger vessels, the ever changing oil and gas industry and the importance of seafood to Shetland and the wider Scottish and UK economy.
‘Mair’s Pier is testament to the Lerwick Port Authority board and the team who make the authority the successful, growing business it is. It is a strategic investment in Lerwick, and so much more. The Authority recognises the maritime world never stands still and ports must adapt and invest in their facilities to compete.
‘Shetland is geographically fortunate – in the right place at the right time when North Sea oil was discovered and the industry is being served by the new pier.
‘Today, fishing is the Islands’ most important industry. A new fish market providing state-of-the art facilities will complement the new pier.’
Authority chief executive Sandra Laurenson said: ‘Mair’s Pier is a significant addition to our infrastructure and has been well received across several sectors where it will help sustain and grow activity.
‘It is also very much a value added asset as a catalyst for considerable further development, including a new fish market and fishing industry hub.’
The main consultant was Arch Henderson, which includes a Lerwick office, providing full design, project management and cost control, with Shetland civil and marine contractor, Tulloch Developments.
Picture: Mair’s Pier (centre) is serving the fishing, offshore and cruise industries, including Viking Sky on a recent maiden call at Lerwick. Credit: John Coutts