As a Shetland-born business woman based in the United States and deeply involved and committed to the knitting and design of Shetland wool products, I was very dismayed to hear that Shetland Islands Council (SIC) has not re-awarded the contract to Promote Shetland.
Without the vision, energy and commitment of the staff of Promote Shetland, and the Shetland Amenity Trust, Wool Week may never have got off the ground, and every year since its inception continued to bring an increasing number of visitors and financial returns to Shetland.
Wool Week, as well as attracting folk to Shetland at a time when traditionally there are few ... providing additional income from accommodation to shops and transport ... is also now attracting visitors throughout the year.
These are international visitors from every corner of the globe and they carry away with them and disseminate the unique experience of their visit so encouraging others to come, at no expense to Shetland.
More importantly, Wool Week has brought with it a much wider market for the wool and knitting business and has stimulated a growth in the numbers of exciting young designers essential to ensure that the Shetland wool industry will continue to evolve and grow.
Though I can only speak for Wool Week and the wool industry I'm aware of many other areas of Shetland's economy where Promote Shetland has brought enormous benefits, not to mention its amazingly successful 60N Magazine which is the best advertisement for Shetland there is.
I am heartened to hear that Shetland Amenity Trust will pick up Wool Week and ensure it takes place in 2017. But why has SIC thought it necessary to put such a success in jeopardy?
Patron Wool Week 2017
Shutesbury, Mass. USA.