Historic Shetland housing debt more than halved

Shetland Islands Council's historic housing debt has been more than halved by millions of pounds from the Westminster and Holyrood governments.

The debt was built up during the 1970s when the authority paid for new houses for workers building the Sullom Voe oil terminal.

The outstanding £36m debt has now been cut to £16m, staving off a threat of rent rises for council tenants.

The deal has been welcomed by Shetland Islands Council.

In December it was announced that the UK Treasury was to hand over £10m.

The council has now agreed final arrangements to unlock a total package from Westminster and Holyrood worth £20m.

Council leader Gary Robinson said: "This is a tremendous outcome.

"Our councillors and officers have put a great deal of energy and effort into reaching this point."

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