News round-up / Business award, gas plant strike dates, visitor numbers and Althing debates Facebook

Shetland Distillery Company directors Debbie Strang and Stuart Nickerson at the FSB Scotland awards ceremony.

SHETLAND Distillery Company, makers of the Shetland Reel Gin, have won the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) Scotland Scale-up Business of the Year award.

The FSB held its small business awards lunch in Edinburgh last week.

Director in the business, Debbie Strang, said winning the FSB award has given the company a real boost.


“We started production of Shetland Reel Gin in 2014, focussing sales on Shetland and Orkney. Since then sales have shot up and we now sell throughout the UK and beyond.

“Operating from the UK’s most remote island is by no means easy, but Unst is truly amazing – the island above all others – and, having established an excellent reputation for our gin range, we are now raising the finance to expand into whisky.”

SHETLAND Gas Plant will be hit by a series of 24-hour strikes starting next month as part of a dispute over working time between the union Unite and offshore contractors Aker Solutions and Petrofac.


Unite has now confirmed that the walkouts at the Total gas plant, which is owned by the French company Total, have been scheduled for 13 March, 27 March, 10 April, 27 April and 8 May.

Offshore installations belonging to Total will be affected by 24-hour stoppages on different days.

The employers are proposing to change the rota system from a two weeks on/three weeks off pattern to either 3:3 or 3:4, which is opposed by the unions.

Last week, Unite announced that workers had overwhelmingly voted in favour of industrial action.

THE FAMOUS Jarlshof settlement at the southern tip of Shetland has seen a record breaking year, welcoming more than 23,000 visitors in 2018.


The prehistoric and Norse settlement is now a regular stop for many bus excursions taking cruise ship visitors on a tour of the south mainland of Shetland.

AN EVENING of controversial and fascinating debate can be expected when the Althing meets in about two weeks time to hear the pros and cons on the motion that suggests Facebook brings out the worst in people.

Speaking in in favour of the motion are Ryan Taylor and Moriag Lyall while Johan Adamson and Stephen Leask will try to convince the audience of the opposing view.

Ahead of the debate, the Althing will be electing a new chairman as Andrew Halcrow has decided to step down from the position. Other committee posts are also available.

The evening on Friday 15 March at the Islesburgh Community Centre will get under way at 7.30pm.