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News round-up / Chocolatier shop to close, Covid community support, Carers’ grant, Eddi Reader concert postponed

Dave Williams of Mirrie Dancer Chocolatier started the business on Commercial Street in 2016.

THE Mirrie Dancer chocolatier shop at Lerwick’s Market Cross is not to re-open once Shetland comes out of lockdown.

Business owner Dave Williams took to Facebook to announce a change in direction which will see him opening a new shop in the Highlands while closing the Lerwick branch.

He said: “We have decided that right now we need to focus on our Kirkwall shop, as that is where we have the longest-serving staff team, who we believe we should support.

“Unfortunately, this means that we will not be re-opening our shop in Shetland. It is with a heavy heart we are leaving the town where my dream began, and our lovely little shop on the market square (…).”

“We hope to expand our business again at some point soon, but this will be on the mainland as we need to be closer to our families. For now we are starting to work on getting both our Kirkwall and online shops open again.”


SHETLAND has so far received more than one million pounds from the Scottish Government to help communities cope with the Covid crisis, the second highest per capita of all 32 Scottish local authorities.

A ‘Community Funding Mapping’ published by the government show that £1,128,767 has been distributed through six different funds: third sector resilience fund (£232,111), hardship fund (£388,000), Scottish welfare fund (£44,000), supporting communities fund (£245,165), food fund (£104,000) and the wellbeing fund (£115,491).

On average every Shetland resident has received £49.10 per person; only islanders in the Western Isles have received more per capita: £59.01.

These figures don’t include Covid support for businesses. The latest statistics published by the Scottish Government show that as of 2 June 651 local businesses have been awarded £7.2 million from the various strands of the business support grant schemes.


MEANWHILE, the Shetland Care Attendant Scheme has been awarded £10,000 from the Bank of Scotland Reach Foundation.

Officer manager Karen Fraser said the money would be used to provide more support for carers throughout Shetland.

The Market House based organisation provides practical support for carers as well as respite from caring.

Fraser said she was delighted the charity had received the funding confirmation during Carers’ Week.


THE MUCH anticipated concert of Scottish singer-songwriter Eddi Reader at Mareel on 20 August has been postponed due to the ongoing Covid-19 restrictions.

Shetland Arts said ticketholders would be refunded automatically. Those who paid by cash are requested to contact the Shetland Arts at admin@shetlandarts.org.

Dates for the rescheduled 40 Years Live Tour are still to be confirmed.

A spokesman said: “We’ll get tickets on sale as soon as we can for this gig, and thank you for your ongoing patience and understanding at this difficult time.”