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Development jobs go as Shetland Arts reshuffles

Shetland Arts general manager Graeme Howell. Photo: Adam Jones

SHETLAND ARTS has confirmed that at least two development officers will leave their posts in November as the organisation continues to fine-tune its structure.

However, general manager Graeme Howell told Shetland News that at the moment only two posts have received redundancy notices – not three as reported elsewhere.

Literature, drama and visual arts development roles held by Donald Anderson, John Haswell and Clair Aldington respectively have been reviewed as Shetland Arts, which recently saw its funding from Shetland Charitable Trust (SCT) reduced, seeks to make its structure more cost-efficient.

Literature development officer Anderson, who has been with the arts body for almost nine years, confirmed to Shetland News that his role will end in November.

Howell, who joined Shetland Arts in 2014, suggested that more redundancies are in the offing as the organisation reshapes for the future.

“The first to say is that we’ve only issued two redundancy notices for members of the arts development team,” he stated.

“This is part of the restructuring process that we started back in January. It’s trying to achieve a number of things, but it’s primarily about making the organisation fit for purpose.

“It’s important that we continue reviewing what we’re doing. The restructuring still has a couple of months to go until it’s complete. So we’re looking at all sorts of options.”

In April, the restructuring process saw former music development man Bryan Peterson named head of creative opportunities and sound technician Jonathan Ritch being appointed head of production.

Howell added that the creative portion of the organisation headed by Peterson will be augmented in the near future.

“We’re recruiting into that department as we speak,” he said.

In June, chairwoman Lorraine Hall said that SCT cutting Shetland Arts’ grant from £696,000 to around £574,000 over the space of five years would see the organisation having to “do some things differently”.

“One of things that I would say is that we’re not laid back about it. We know we might have to do some things differently, but we’re up for it,” she told Shetland News.