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News round-up / Athletics club grant, Sella Ness camp unease, maritime heritage project

LERWICK Community Council has agreed to donate £2,000 towards an ambitious project by Shetland Athletics Club to purchase electronic timing equipment which would enable to club to host competitions that will be recognised on a national and international level.

The club had asked for £5,594 towards the overall cost of £15,594, but community councillors felt they were unable to commit that amount of money at this time.

The meeting on Monday night agreed with community councillor Karen Fraser to commit £2,000 with the option for the athletics club to apply again in the new financial year.

The athletics club said governing body Athletics Scotland was in support of its ambitions but unable to help financially. They had agreed to provide training on the equipment free of charge though.

The club has already received £3,000 from the Zetland Educational Trust towards the project and is continuing with its own fundraising, including Christmas bag packing at Tesco.

COMMUNITY councillors in Lerwick have expressed some unease with a planning application by Malthus Uniteam to extend planning permission for the temporary accommodation camp at Sella Ness until 2026.

While accepting that the application for the camp near the Sullom Voe Terminal was outwith its remit, community councillors accepted that the camp could potentially have an impact on accommodation providers in Lerwick.

Vice-chairman of the community council Gary Robinson told fellow councillors that a “competent objection” could not be raised because the planning system was “not a competition regulator”.

Meanwhile, community councillors had no comment to make on Viking Energy’s application to increase the size of the turbines for its proposed wind farm in the north of Shetland as this development was not within the boundaries of Lerwick.

A NEW community interest company is working together with other heritage organisations in researching the history of the many abandoned noosts scattered around the coastline of Shetland.

The owners of Moder Dy say they want to reconnect local people to their maritime past through research projects, school and community workshops as well as heritage tourism events.

The company’s Dr Esther Renwick said: “A noost on its own tells us little, yet, when put into a land and seascape context, using information obtained from archaeological survey, archive, and oral sources an intriguing story develops of the people who lived, farmed/crofted, and fished in a particular area.”

Renwick is attending the Vikings in Scotland Conference at the Kelvin Hall in Glasgow this week.