HRH The Princess Royal Opening

by Misa Hay -

The opening ceremony for the newly refurbished Sumburgh Head Lighthouse Buildings took place today. HRH The Princess Royal was there to declare the world class facility at the southern tip of mainland Shetland officially open.

Hundreds of invited guests attended the event, during which, Her Royal Highness was given a tour of the new facilities and refurbished Engine Room, Foghorn and Radar Hut. As patron of the Northern Lighthouse Board, Her Royal Highness has visited Sumburgh Head Lighthouse many times and Shetland Amenity Trust was very proud to present the high standard of work which has transformed these buildings into an outstanding visitor centre.

Shetland Amenity Trust is the lead partner in the project which has seen over ten years of planning, £5.4million of grant funding sourced and two years of construction work culminate in a brand new and exciting visitor facility.

Jimmy Moncrieff, General Manager of the Trust said

“This is a very proud day for everyone at the Trust. The Sumburgh Head Project has been a long term ambition for the community, and to see so many years of hard work and planning come to fruition is fantastic. Sumburgh Head is the jewel in the crown for tourism in the South Mainland. With all the other visitor centres and attractions here, visitors have a rich mix of history, culture and natural heritage on offer.”

Most of the major supporters were present, including the RSPB and Northern Lighthouse Board. Partnership working with these organisations will be an integral part of the ongoing success of this project.

Stuart Housden, Director of RSPB Scotland, said: "Shetland is a spectacular place for wildlife particularly seabirds and Sumburgh Head is probably the most accessible place to see seabirds like puffins, up close in the UK. We are thrilled to have been part of this project led by the Shetland Amenity Trust. The renovation of the lighthouse and buildings and the creation of the Marine Life Centre means that Sumburgh Head now has world class visitor facilities to accompany its world class wildlife experience. Given the threats to seabirds and marine wildlife - it's vital their story is told to as big an audience as possible"

Sumburgh Head Lighthouse, Visitor Centre and Nature Reserve is open to the public daily between 10.00am and 4.00pm. Special family and concession tickets are available for the indoor elements of the Sumburgh Head Experience. A new website will be launched in the coming weeks with information and downloadable resources to enhance an on-site visit. See www.sumburghhead.com for details.

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