Shetland Heritage Centre proposal

The Shetland Classic Car Club proposes that a Shetland Heritage Centre should be established among the remaining unused buildings on the Campus at the Knab (which will comprise the original AEI building, the Janet Courtney Hostel and the Science Block).

In the case of the Classic Car Club we immediately need a large room in which to catalogue and archive our huge collection of Shetland-related motoring material.

The club has also identified the need for a permanent showcase, or exhibition space, in which everything available to it (from cars to written material) can be made accessible to inform, educate and entertain the Shetland public and visitors to our isles.

These heritage-based activities would in our view fit very well into the historic listed buildings of educational origin on the AEI campus.

We’re aware of a very wide network of Shetland heritage bodies and artefacts, which would also benefit from such a heritage centre. The many local history groups, genealogy societies, history researchers, local museums and indeed the reserve collection of the Shetland Museum and Archives would all benefit from a hub and showcase in which to come together to work and exhibit artefacts.

This would be a tremendous asset for Shetland, would provide synergies between all those involved in the heritage field, and would be an excellent way to use some or all of the remaining buildings.

We believe that the marginal costs of this proposal could be largely offset by rents paid by occupants and by admission charges paid by the visiting public.

Convener Malcolm Bell of the Shetland Islands Council has been kind enough to refer this proposal on to the project team, which is managing the consultation process on the future use of these buildings.

Our initial soundings have indicated that a Shetland Heritage Centre at the AEI Campus would be warmly and widely welcomed. We would be delighted to hear from further bodies and individuals who are interested in this idea.

Graham Johnston
Shetland Classic Car Club

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