The new pier and ro-ro ferry service was opened in Papa Stour Saturday 17th September 2005. In the wind and rain dignitaries and islanders huddled together on the deck of MV Snolda to watch local teenager Magnus Scott cut the ribbon. Councillor Frank Robertson gave the opening speech and Papa man George Peterson read a poem he had written whilst on National Service. Councillor Florence Grains and MSP Tavish Scott were among those invited to the ceremony. Afterwards very welcome refreshments were served in the ferry waiting room whilst local talent provided background fiddle music.
Built by contractors Tulloch Developments Ltd the new pier, breakwater and slipway cost £2million whilst the new ferry terminal at West Burrafirth came to just under £1million. The re engine MV Snolda used to serve Out Skerries until they were given a new bigger ferry. The second hand and refurbished linkspans came from Toft when their new ferry terminal was built.
The Papa Stour folk are grateful to the Shetland Islands Council for the provision of the ro ro car ferry service. It has enhanced their lives considerably and enabled new infrastructure to be installed in the isle. There is a new state of the art water scheme and the road has been upgraded. Crofters have been able to carry out much needed building works as well as embracing modern agricultural practices. It is now much easier to take livestock to the Marts, bring in large machinery such as silage equipment, as well as travel to the mainland in comfort. There has been a considerable increase in visitor numbers and there is a greater sense of well-being in the isle.