Lerwick Mission Building Under Threat Fishing Monthly Published: 29 April, 2003
THE FUTURE of the Lerwick Fishermen’s Mission building is expected to be decided at a meeting with key supporters tomorrow (Wednesday) night which will be attended by the chief executive and the vice-chairman of the Mission .
Speaking from London before leaving for Shetland, Dan Conley, the RNMDSF’s chief executive said that the current building, in Harbour Street, was underused by fishermen and the local community.
The meeting is expected to decide the closure and sale of the substantial building that dates from the early ’60s and is regarded – at least among architectural circles – as a prime example of the architecture of that period.
The building incorporates a canteen and recently refurbished accommodation for fishermen and their families.
Mr Conley said the problems that have arisen with the running of the mission building reflected the dramatic changes in the fishing industry in recent years.
Bigger and more comfortable fishing boats, combined with the continuous shrinking of the fishing industry have forced the mission to re-think the way it serves the community.
He said: “The building is lying empty. The canteen is running at a loss and the whole building is making a substantial deficit every year.
“Now, we balance the books and I don’t mind a deficit if the facility is well used. But here in Lerwick it is money down the tube.”
However, they would continue to have a presence in Shetland, most likely as rented accommodation for an office and meeting room.