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Shetland Arts grant

The Mareel arts centre.

SHETLAND Arts has confirmed that the agency has been awarded funding of  £750,000 from Creative Scotland over the next three years.

The grant is part of the arts agency’s regular core funding.

Creative Scotland announced on Wednesday that they had awarded almost £100 million to 119 arts organisations over the next three years.

Shetland Arts chairman Danus Skene said the funding from the national arts organisation represented a 25 per cent increase compared to previous years.

“Considering the intense level of competition for funding, this support from a national source represents a massive vote of confidence in the work of Shetland Arts.

Shetland Arts chairman Danus Skene: 'Mareel is not a burden, it is a community asset'.

“The money that we receive on a grant basis from Creative Scotland and the Shetland Charitable Trust is primarily to enable the work of arts development and cultural activities across the islands.

“It is not – emphasis on not – about supporting the Mareel building.

“The grant from Creative Scotland will enable us to deliver the intentions laid out in our three year business plan,” he said.

Skene added with the appointment of Graeme Howell as new general manager the arts agency’s focus was very much on “commerciality” and improving the income streams from its various projects.

“Mareel is not a burden, it is a huge asset to the community which is commercially pretty much neutral.

“We have a new general manager coming in full time from 1 December, as commerciality and improving efficiency in all that we do is very much on the agenda.”

The organisation, which runs the Mareel arts centre in Lerwick, has reduced its dependency on core funding from 71 per cent in 2008 to 34 per cent in 2013.