Orkney and Shetland MP, Alistair Carmichael, has lodged a parliamentary motion calling on the government to give financial support to the rebuilding of the Fair Isle Bird Observatory which burned down last year. Planning permission for a £7.4 million revamped bird observatory has been granted approval and a crowdfunding appeal aims to raise £650,000 with over £94,000 raised so far. Fair Isle is regarded as one of the best places in Europe to see rare birds that stop off along their migration routes. Following the fire last year, Mr Carmichael raised the issue in Parliament with the then-Prime Minister Theresa May, who expressed willingness to give government support for the rebuilding.
Commenting, Mr Carmichael said:
“The community suffered a devastating blow when the Bird Observatory was destroyed last year. It is testament to the dedication of the Trust that the rebuild appeal has gained such momentum already. The Observatory is vitally important to the economic and social fabric of Fair Isle.
“The new facility will not only boost the tourism offer of Fair Isle but also secure the provision of world-class ornithological and marine biological research there. It is crucial we all get behind the rebuild appeal to ensure the future prosperity of this vital community.”
“When I raised this issue with the then-Prime Minister last year she indicated that the government would support the rebuilding. There is a precedent here with the UK and Scottish governments helping to rebuild Glasgow Art School, and rightly so. Progress has since been made locally to secure planning permission for a new building; now is the moment for government to match their willingness of support with appropriate funding.”
You can view the Early Day Motion here: https://edm.parliament.uk/early-day-motion/57399/rebuilding-of-fair-isle-bird-observatory