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News round-up / Shetland Boat Week programme, RET transparency, leadership matters workshops, full service on Yell Sound

THE PROGRAMME for this year’s Shetland Boat Week has just been published.

Sponsored by a number of local companies, the event will take place between 5 and 11 August and is mainly based at Lerwick’s Hay’s Dock.

The public will, once again, have a chance to experience sailing in a sixareen in Lerwick harbour, take a tour on board the NorthLink ferry Hjaltland or the Coastguard emergency towing vessel Ievoli Black.

New in the programme is an eela fishing competition as well as a seafood based produce marketplace including cookery demonstrations.

Ruth Mackenzie of organiser Shetland Amenity Trust described this year’s programme as “fantastic”.

“There is enough to keep even the keenest of boat enthusiasts busy all week and for those who just want to dip a toe in the water of our maritime heritage, it’s a perfect opportunity. There’s plenty to do on land and, more importantly on the sea, with lots of boat trips planned every day,” she said.

Tickets for bookable events are now available at www.thelittleboxoffice/sat or can be booked in person at the Shetland Museum and Archives, Shetland Amenity Trust office or by calling 01595 741652.

The full programme can be found here.


NORTHERN Isles MSPs Tavish Scott and Liam McArthur have called on the Scottish Government for more transparency over the delays to introducing road equivalent tariffs (RET) to the Northern Isles ferry routes.

Correspondence with the European Commission in Brussels has revealed that the commission is working with the Scottish Government to address issues that could arise from RET but is not investigating a complaint the commission has received regarding the potential state aid implications of RET.

According to McArthur, the government should introduce RET sooner rather than later as it is currently not required to wait for the outcome of the complaint.

“Islanders are waiting with baited breath for news about RET. Will fares ever be cut by the 40 per cent that the SNP boasted about on the west coast routes? Ministers should not underestimate the determination felt locally to see that the government follow through on their commitment,” he said.

Scott added: “The greater pressure this summer is capacity on board for both cabins and vehicles.

“Despite islanders and export freight businesses telling the government they needed to create more capacity in the new tender to start this October, there is nothing new that helps in the government’s plans.”


PROFESSOR Michael West, an expert in compassionate leadership, is to take the stage at Mareel next Monday afternoon to open a week-long local event on the very subject.

Led by NHS Shetland and supported by the council and Voluntary Action Shetland, Leadership Matters will take place at venues across Lerwick from June 17 to 20, exploring what leadership is and means for all our communities in Shetland.

A raft of local speakers will be presenting sessions and workshops throughout the week.

Workshops and seminars are open to the public, and the programme can be found here.


After weeks of disruptions on Yell Sound, the council ferry Dagalien has now returned from her refit allowing Shetland Islands Council to operate the normal two-vessel service across the busy sound.

Apologising for any inconvenience caused by the recent disruption, a spokeswoman said that services were operating to the scheduled timetable since Tuesday morning and that the booking system had also reopened.

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