Commercial Street, Lerwick: Da Street 2018

by Lauren Doughton -

Commercial Street in Lerwick, known locally as ‘Da Street’ (the street), is the heart of shopping and retail in Shetland. We spoke to local businesses and retailers to find out what it is like to run a small business in Shetland, and why the street is a great place to do it.

Situated in the centre of town, just a stone’s throw from the harbour front, the street is home to a range of shops and businesses, from banks, building societies and solicitors, to clothing, books, gifts and homeware stores - not to mention a whole host of yummy cafés and coffee shops. Whether you’re looking to pay in a cheque, get your hair cut, pick up your prescription, find that perfect present for a friend or relative, or buy a plunger to unblock the sink, you’ll find somewhere to do it on Commercial Street.

The street is part of the Lerwick Business Improvement District (BID), Living Lerwick – a business-led initiative, bringing local businesses together to work together and invest in improvements for their local area. As well as providing a forum for local businesses to collaborate, receive support and levy funding, the group are responsible for maintaining the appearance of the town centre, investing in seating, flower beds and other decorations. They also organise a range of events and festivals throughout the year, including shopping weeks, competitions and treasure hunts, and a Winter Festival, complete with Santa and Christmas Parade (where else could you go to see Santa arrive on an RNLI lifeboat?), all with the aim to ensure that Lerwick Town Centre remains a vibrant place to do business.

Today there is a distinct buzz around Commercial Street, with a number of new businesses opening up, including several cafés and bars, contributing to Lerwick’s blossiming social scene. If you are interested in starting your own business and joining the community on the street, there are several places available to help.

If you'd like to find out more about living and working in Shetland, check out the Live, Work, Study section of our website, or sign up to our newsletter to recieve regular stories, updates and information about opportunties in Shetland.