THE CO-OP says it is “disappointed” that plans have been scrapped for two new stores in Shetland.

The two projects in Sandwick and Scalloway were given planning permission in 2021 and property developer Seamount said at the time that they could open by early 2023.

But a 50 per cent increase in building costs and contractor availability meant it was “unable to proceed” according to Seamount.

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The local community previously expressed concern over the impact these stores would have on existing local shops in the towns, Shetland News reported.

Seamount said if the situation with build costs changed, it would be happy to revisit the proposals.

A spokesperson for Co-op said: “Co-op is committed to serving Shetland communities from its stores in Brae and Lerwick and, while we do not own the proposed new sites, nor have control or involvement in the development, we share the developer’s disappointment that works are unable to progress at this time.”

Shetland groups have also been invited to apply to take part in the Co-op Local Community Fund, which has supported over 30,000 local community projects across the UK since its launch in 2016.