Wishart: Prospect of job losses at Moorfield “a devastating blow”

Shetland MSP Beatrice Wishart has today called the prospect of job losses at the Moorfield Hotel a “devastating blow”, having raised the issue at First Minister’s Questions.

On Tuesday (2nd June) it was announced that almost 50 jobs were at risk at the Moorfield Hotel following Total’s decision to move worker accommodation to the Sella Ness block. A staff redundancy consultation process has begun.

Legal proceedings are also underway in response to a Scottish Government reporter’s ruling to overturn a Shetland Island Council decision to turn down planning permission for the Sella Ness facility to remain open.

During First Minister’s Questions, Ms Wishart said that the prospect of redundancies “is another devastating blow for the Shetland economy, especially in the North Mainland which has already been hit hard this year with the closure of Scatsta Airport and other redundancies at the Sullom Voe Oil Terminal.” Ms Wishart asked the First Minister what the Scottish Government can do to prevent job losses and help those facing redundancy.

In response, the First Minister recognised that the hotel sector “is very hard hit” by the coronavirus pandemic and asked the Economy Secretary to look into the particular circumstances of the Moorfield Hotel.

Commenting Ms Wishart said:

“Whilst this is a commercial decision by Total, it is very concerning news for Shetland. My primary thought is with the staff who are directly affected. This will be a very worrying time for them and the focus right now should be to ensure that as many jobs as possible can be retained in a sustainable way.

“The real prospect of job losses at the Moorfield Hotel could not come at a worse time for the North Mainland economy. There have been fears for some time about the future of some accommodation providers with the downturn in the oil and gas sector. That has been accelerated by the coronavirus pandemic which has hit tourism and hospitality especially hard. I look forward to discussing the serious situation further with Ministers.”

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