News round-up / College performs well, outdoor access consultation, beer festival returns, Up Helly Aa flights

UHI Shetland's Lerwick campus.

SHETLAND College was Scotland’s number one college when it came to the success rate of full-time further education students in 2017/18.

Nearly 78 per cent of the students achieved awards in the year – 11.7 per cent higher than the Scottish average.

There were 90 full-time further education students on the books at Shetland College in 2017/18.


Deputy principal Susan Berry said the college, which is part of the University of Highlands and Islands network, was “very proud” of its students’ success rate.

The results come as the three organisations Shetland College UHI, Train Shetland and NAFC Marine Centre UHI get set to merge into one body.

“While the Shetland tertiary education sector has been under review and in the midst of change, services across the sector have continued to be delivered to a high standard, with student experience and outcomes being the focus of our dedicated and passionate staff teams,” Berry said.

“We look forward to what the future holds supporting individuals, communities and industry to grow and develop, with continued commitment to delivering high quality further and higher education.”


A CONSULTATION is set to get underway on the next strategy for access to Shetland’s countryside.

A draft Shetland outdoor access strategy is available to view now, and comments can be made from 1 May to 14 June.

The strategy helps to form local policy on access to the countryside. Shetland has 1,700 miles of coastline and 520km of core paths and access routes.

The new strategy will “take into account new legislation and the potential for funding, and set priorities for the development of access to the countryside in Shetland”.


Electronic copies of the draft strategy are available online and paper copies can be viewed at Solarhus, 3 North Ness, and Shetland Library, Hillhead, Lerwick.

Response forms are also available online. Anyone with difficulties in accessing the online consultation can contact the council’s planning service on 01595 744293 for paper copies.

A BEER and real ale festival in Scalloway is set to return for its second year.

Mid May Beer Day(s) will be held at the village’s boating club on 11 and 12 May.

Left to right: Scalloway boating club commodore Davie Sandison, Lewis Grant and Stephen Lamming.

It will feature six varieties of keg beer and 14 types of bottled and canned beer from breweries in the UK.

The event has been organised again by local pair Stephen Lamming and Lewis Grant.

The event will be free to enter and it will have family friendly sessions on the Saturday and Sunday afternoons, with the fun on the Saturday night for adults only.

There will be live music from Brian Morrison & Co on Saturday night and Charity Johnson, Hersel and Jack Sandison on the Sunday.

DETAILS of Loganair’s first flights connecting Shetland and Bergen for Up Helly Aa have been announced.

The famous Bryggen waterfront in the centre of Bergen. Photo: Bergen Reiselivslag / Girish Chouhan - visitBergen.com
The famous Bryggen waterfront in the centre of Bergen. Photo: Bergen Reiselivslag / Girish Chouhan – visitBergen.com

An outbound flight to Bergen will depart Sumburgh on Monday 27 January at 1.20pm, bringing Norwegian visitors to Shetland on the inbound flight at 3.05pm ahead of the start of Up Helly Aa the next day.

The same flights will then depart on Thursday 30 January.

The Up Helly Aa link-up, first confirmed by Loganair managing director Jonathan Hinkles in March, aims to stir up interest in the Lerwick festival from people in Norway.

Marketing manager at Loganair Sam Talbot said: “The Sumburgh – Bergen route is hugely popular in summer months, connecting Shetland with its nearby Norwegian neighbours in Bergen.

“Up Helly Aa is one of the biggest events in the year for Shetland, and with such a strong Norwegian connection to the event, we felt it important to provide direct links between Norway and Shetland at this time of year.”