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Step forward for tunnels

Yell and Unst Tunnel Action Groups have welcomed the news that Shetland Islands Council is to meet with Alistair Jack MP, Secretary of State for Scotland, to discuss interisland connectivity.

Duncan Gray, Joint Chair of Unst Tunnel Action Group, said: “We very much appreciate the work that Shetland Islands Council is doing to secure funding for fixed links. Meanwhile, our own investigations will complement the Council’s work by providing the essential data and insights required to move the project forward to a fundable position.

“To be clear, the necessary geo-technical investigations, socio-economic and environmental impact work, for which we are raising funds, will not be covered by the £700k investment announced by Shetland Islands Council.  However, these investigations and the impact work we intend to undertake can be fed directly into Shetland Islands Council’s transport connectivity strategy to help to drive the project forward.”

The Action Groups are currently working with Shetland Islands Council to formalise the stakeholder group which will guide the development and appraisal of the inter-island transport connectivity business case.

Additionally, three chairs from the Action Groups have organised a self-funded trip to the Faroe Islands later this month to learn from the Faroese experience and understand how the project can be progressed in the most efficient and financially viable manner.  This will also include discussions about the impact which tunnels have had on their islands with communities who have completed such developments.

In just six weeks, the Action Groups have more than £120,000 of pledges to do the groundwork, with some donations yet to be announced.  Fund raising activities are scheduled to run until the end of the year, with a variety of online and on-island events planned.

Graham Hughson, Joint Chair of Yell Tunnel Action Group, said: “We are very grateful for all the donations received so far. Our aim is to demonstrate tunnels are technically and economically achievable, so that we can work with Shetland Islands Council to take the project to the next stage as swiftly as possible.

“We cannot sit back and watch our islands decline due to ageing and increasingly unreliable ferries. We need to work together to get replacement infrastructure in place to keep the islands alive for generations to come.”

To contribute to this essential phase of investigations and support the sub-sea tunnel projects for Unst and Yell, visit

Join us in bringing this project to fruition by making a donation via our Crowd Funder page. Together, we can make a difference.