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News round-up / Fair Isle chairs survey, help with insulating homes and linkspan replacements

NEW funding is available in Shetland for insulating roofs and walls in private homes.

The works would be paid for by major energy companies as part of their tax burden, with householders not having to stump up anything.

These companies have to put aside part of their profits for households that require insulation.

People in any council tax band in Shetland with a poorly insulated house should be eligible – an estimated 70 per cent of properties. 

Shetland Islands Council’s carbon management team leader Mary Lisk said: “In order to bring as much as possible of this funding – possibly around £3 million – into Shetland, the council has developed a ‘Statement of Flexible Intent’.

“This makes households which are not strictly eligible for free works under the original very tight rules of the energy companies to be viewed as ‘flexibly eligible’.

To see if your house is ‘flexibly eligible’, head here.

A WOMAN from Fair Isle who has received funding to conduct research in to chairs made on the remote island is looking for help from the public to locate examples to survey.

Eve Eunson hopes to photograph and examine as many chairs as possible to catalogue them for the first time.

Eve Eunson. Photo: Ewan Nicolson

The trained architect, who has worked in conservation, has received funding from Shetland Amenity Trust’s heritage grant fund.

She will also work with chair maker Stewart Thomson to replicate examples of each type of chair.

Around 50 examples of chairs made in Fair Isle have been located so far, including some in Edinburgh and the Highlands, but it is likely that there may be examples much further afield.

Alongside Fair Isle chairs, Eve is also keen to trace straw backed chairs made in Shetland prior to 1970.

She added that it does not matter what condition the chairs are in, while photographs of lost old chairs are helpful too.

Eve can be contacted on eve.eunson@btopenworld.com or telephone 07919 156827.

Shetland Museum & Archives curator Dr Ian Tait said: “Fair Isle chairs offer some particularly distinctive designs, making this study an ideal starting point to understanding how unique design aspects develop within our small communities.”

ALL of Shetland’s ferry linkspans are to be replaced starting next year in the first such overhaul to be undertaken for around 20 years.

The work will involve each terminal being closed to vehicle traffic for around two or three days, according to Shetland Islands Council.

The ferry service’s spare linkspan unit will be renovated and taken to the first site to be worked on – Vidlin – to replace the existing equipment there. 

SIC environment and transport committee chairman Ryan Thomson said: “It’s really good to see this work finally getting underway.  Our linkspans are critical to our fleet operation and any fault has a significant effect on the ability of an island community to function effectively.

“There will, by the very nature of the work, be times when the ferries won’t be able to transport vehicles, and we do appreciate that that will have an impact, especially on people living in the isles.

“We are doing what we can to plan for that, and will make sure the necessary information is shared with anyone who may be affected, both on – and off-island, well in advance of any work.”

The project to replace and refurbish all 13 linkspans will run from around May next year to September 2021.