News round-up / Replenish scoops top prize, Women’s Convention event, new theatre project, call for tourism support

Replenish when they won the Shetland round (left to right): Judge John Hamilton from Bank of Scotland, Matthew Johnson, Bethany Laurenson, Freya Balfour, Katie Wink, Cameron MacDonald and judge Terri Malcolmson from Terri Laura Designs.

A FIVE-strong team of young entrepreneurs from Brae High School will be representing Shetland at the Scottish Young Enterprise Awards in Edinburgh after winning the local competition earlier this week.

Replenish impressed judges with their business idea of producing and promoting the use of aluminium water bottles to reduce single plastic use.


Two companies participated in Young Enterprise programme this year – BeeBetter from the Anderson High School and Replenish. Pupils had to set up and run their own company through the academic year with support from the local area team.

Judge Terri Malcolmson recognised that both companies had done extremely well through their journey and each had demonstrated different strengths.

Shetland Islands Council leader Steven Coutts said: “I was very impressed by the quality of both school companies and the work that they have put in over the academic year. I wish Replenish all the best for the Scottish finals in Edinburgh.”


THE SCOTTISH Women’s Convention is set to visit Lerwick next month to hear about the main issues faced by women in Shetland.

Staff from the government-funded organisation will be at the Islesburgh Community Centre on Friday 17 May from 10.30am to 1.30pm. The event is free to the public and lunch will be provided.

The Scottish Women’s Convention uses evidence gathered from its annual roadshow programme to inform politicians, at local and national level, on the impact of their policy decisions.

Convention chair Agnes Tolmie said: “Women are losing their jobs, local services are being cut or withdrawn. Women are hidden from policies and procedures. We aim to use real voices to influence change for the better.


“Providing women with a safe space in which they can discuss key issues should always be a priority. The Scottish Women’s Convention provides a vital role in ensuring local women have a voice and a link with political discussion.”

A NEW theatre project specialising in participatory and creative workshops, classes and projects has announced its first show planned for later this year.

The ALICE theatre project is the brainchild of local actor Stephenie Pagulayan, who regularly features on the Garrison Theatre stage.

Our Story, a show that has entirely been created from the imaginations of primary school children who attend weekly theatre skills classes, will come to the Garrison in Lerwick on 29 June.

Pagulayan said: “I have created this social enterprise as a tool to support people in the Shetland community to realise their creative potential through theatre and performance.

“Our children’s classes have been an absolute joy to teach.  Each and every young actor has given their all to create this wonderful show and we can’t wait to share it with our community.”

The theatre project will be hosting a Mad Hatters Tea Party on Sunday 12 May from 10am to 1pm at Islesburgh Community Centre in Lerwick to raise funds for the show.


Entry is £5 (£3 conc.) and all funds raised on the day will go directly to Our Story production costs. Tickets for theatre production will be available from the Shetland Arts box office in May.

HIGHLANDS and Islands Conservative MSP Jamie Halcro Johnston has suggested government funds earmarked to reduce ferry fares on the Northern Isles ferry routes should be used to boost the tourism industry in Orkney and Shetland while a legal challenge to the RET scheme works its way through the courts.

Speaking in the Scottish Parliament on Thursday, the MSP said: “Funding has been set aside to reduce ferry fares but, because of the well-reported legal challenge, there’s the real risk it may not become available for yet another crucial summer season.

“If the SNP cannot deliver their repeatedly-promised reduced fares then, until they can, they should look at redeploying that money to directly assist those sectors most affected.

“While the minster did reaffirm the government’s commitment to deliver reduced fares, local people are becoming increasingly tired of promises being made, remade, reaffirmed but not delivered.”