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Glasshouse meeting

PLANS to turn Shetland’s derelict Tingwall glasshouse into a centre for community growing will reach a critical stage this month, according to local environment action group Transition Shetland.

A £20,000 feasibility study into bringing the 2,500 square metre building back to life has shown there is much public support for the idea, but it will require significant investment.

The group is holding a public meeting at 7pm on Wednesday 26 March to share the study’s findings and find out how many people are willing to get involved in the project.

Chairman Pete Bevington said: “We’ve spent about two years now raising funds and commissioning this feasibility study.

“We have discovered that while we face a big challenge restoring this building, there are a lot of people out there who want to see it happen.

“We now have to make a decision whether to proceed and we need to know how many people are willing to get involved in bringing this tremendous asset back to life.

“We are very confident we can raise the funds to do this as long as we can negotiate a deal with the current owner.

“But the most crucial factor will be people getting involved. We would urge anyone with an interest in the glasshouse to come along on 26 March and find out more and hopefully sign up to getting involved.”

The feasibility study was carried out by a team led by Scalloway-based consultants AB Associates, including Richard Gibson Architects, RG Jamieson Engineers, Ness Engineering and Stephen Johnston from David Adamson Surveyors.

It concluded that with significant investment the building could be brought back into use for local people to grow their own food under glass.

The study was paid for with a £10,000 grant from the Big Lottery Fund’s Investing in Ideas scheme, with a £9,000 contribution from the European LEADER fund.

The group thanked the glasshouse’s current owner Ghufar Razaq for his patience while they prepare their plans.