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In brief – 4 February 2010

Dodgy caller

POLICE yesterday warned that a number of Shetland residents have received telephone calls offering advertising space in a police magazine.

They said this campaign had not been endorsed in any way by Northern Constabulary.

No financial or personal details should be passed over the phone, a spokesman said, and anyone with concerns should contact the Lerwick station on 1595 692110.


Michael’s on top

SHELLFISH farmer Michael Laurenson, of Blueshell Mussels, has been praised by one of the world’s top business schools.

Mr Laurenson and Angus Grains, of North Fish Ltd, attended an entrepreneurs development programme at the Sloan School of Management at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Boston, orgainsed through Highlands and Islands Enterprise. Mr Laurenson was part of a team which won the business plan competition.

Seven businesses from the region are working with 115 others from 30 different countries. Mr Laurenson said:

“Our time at MIT has been great, we have been working collectively with world class business leaders experiencing very valuable, highly condensed business skills.

“I was very privileged to be part of the team which presented the winning business plan to the judging panel, which incidentally focused on a fish farm device which could have great potential for the industry.”


A grand an apprentice

BUSINESSES in Shetland are being offered £1,000 to encourage them to take on an apprentice.

Modern apprenticeships grants are available to all firms as part of the Scottish government’s £4 million ScotAction scheme, and are available until 26 March to take on a young person aged at least 16.

More information is available at or from Skills Development Scotland on 0808 100 8095.


UK marine science strategy

THE UK government yesterday (Wednesday) published a 15 year scientific strategy to study the country’s surrounding seas, in conjunction with the devolved administrations.

The House of Commons select committee report ‘Investigating our Oceans’ has identified three priority areas: understanding how marine ecosystems function; responding to climate change and its interaction with the marine environment; and sustaining and increasing ecosystem benefits.

More information about the UK Marine Science Strategy can be found at


Extra cash for arts

THE SCOTTISH government is pumping an extra £50,000 into its New Arts Sponsorship grant scheme, after the initial tranche of £300,000 was snapped up.

Under the scheme the government promises to match any funding provided by first time arts sponsors or any firm that has not sponsored the arts for at least three years.

Culture minister Fiona Hyslop said: “Despite the economic climate, attendances at cultural events and arts venues are holding up well. This is a good time for businesses to benefit from involvement in the arts, with tangible commercial benefits, whether it be branding, customer engagement, heightened community profile or staff development.”