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News round-up / Funding for seafood businesses, drought hotspot, self-determination questionnaire, GlobalYell festival and Polycrub graduate sought

Photo: Shetland News

THE SCOTTISH Government has announced a new £7.75 million funding package in support of fishermen and seafood businesses threatened by the ongoing effects of Covid-19 and EU exit.

The package includes:

  • £6.45 million for the Seafood Producers Resilience Fund which will provide support to eligible shellfish catchers and producers, in addition to trout farmers who have faced issues exporting to the EU;
  • £1 million to be made available to support the investment plans of ports and harbours faced with a loss of income through landing fees, and
  • up to £300,000 to assist the welfare and emergency support activities of the Fishermen’s Mission in recognition of the hardship facing people working in the sector at this time.

Fisheries secretary Fergus Ewing said: “In the absence of any further clarity on resilience funding from the UK Government we are stepping in to support the industry and coastal communities across Scotland and ensuring we meet the emergency needs of crews by providing welfare support through the Fishermen’s Mission.

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“In addition to this funding, last week we also supported calls for a new dedicated task force, and announced funding for two new experts to help businesses navigate the new processes and requirements.”


SHETLAND has been identified as one area in Scotland likely to be affected by extreme droughts as a result of climate change, a new scientific report published by NatureScot has found.

The study by graduate placement Fairlie Kirkpatrick Baird points out that climate change is causing extreme weather events, including storms, flooding and droughts.

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The research shows that the number of extreme drought events across the country could increase from an average of one every 20 years to one every three years, with Shetland along with Orkney, the Borders, Aberdeenshire and Caithness described as potential “hotspot” areas for droughts.

Kirkpatrick Baird said: “When we think of extreme climate events in Scotland, we usually think of flooding and storms, but droughts are increasing here too.

“As in the drought over the summer of 2018, we are already seeing the negative impacts that can have on human and ecological environments.”

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SHETLAND’s drive for more self-determination has become a study subject for an A level student from Essex.

Alice Gee, who has close family links to Shetland, is asking islanders to help her with her project by filling in a short questionnaire at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/7QXC6CL

She said she has an active interest in politics and as such had chosen to investigate the future of Shetland’s governance after the islands’ council decided to explore options for achieving financial and political self-determination.

“I am investigating whether greater financial and political autonomy for Shetland is likely to benefit the islands and whether there is a desire for this in the wider Shetland population,” she said.


SOCIAL enterprise GlobalYell is launching a new festival to help support people affected by isolation and lockdown.

The initiative, which has received financial support from Creative Scotland, will culminate in a five day festival in late summer and will comprise of online events, workshops and classes.

The intention for the “at home” festival is to bring people together in other ways now that it is not possible to meet up.

Organiser Kate Lonsdale said: “Lockdown has been difficult for us all and we hope people will love the opportunity to explore not only a creative practice but a new way of working and socialising.

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“We are thrilled to have received funding from Creative Scotland, which allows us to support local artists by offering tutoring opportunities.”

GlobalYell are holding an open meeting for people who may be interested in running sessions for the festival on Saturday 13 Feb at 10am via Zoom. More info via email andy@globalyell.org


THE NORTHMAVINE based manufacturer of the Polycrub is looking for a business development graduate to help take the company to the next level.

Nortenergy chair Drew Ratter said: “It’s a great opportunity with a fast-growing company, and although the position is for twelve months, there would be every chance of creating something long term, if things carry on as they are with company growth.”

The successful candidate would help find new opportunities to grow a network of distribution hubs, as well as review and develop business processes in order to improve logistics and raise efficiency over the hub network.

Ratter said: “To be honest, the speed at which Nortenergy has grown has surprised all of us, and we see this post as absolutely vital to understand and consolidate, and to set future direction for the company.”

Nortenergy is a community-owned social enterprise based which designs and produces durable polytunnel/greenhouse hybrids using recycled materials from the aquaculture industry.

The company’s main claim to fame is that, unlike other types of growing tunnel, polycrubs don’t blow away.

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