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Community / Funding success for local projects

A HANDFUL of local organisations and projects have secured new funding.

Shetland Islands Council’s youth and employability service has received £13,100 from a Scottish Government emergency youth arts fund.

It will go towards the ‘Shetland Digital Hub – Access All Areas’, which will be a year-long creative digital media programme aimed at upskilling and engaging young people in the isles.

The Anderson High School has also received £4,275 as part of a Scotland-wide funding package for school libraries, designed to help combat disruption caused by Covid-19 school closures.

The grant, from the Scottish Government’s school library improvement fund, will be used for the AHS Reads! project.

This aims to help pupils who have reading difficulties to engage with books either for pleasure or as part of the curriculum. It is hoped that the project will also be useful for those who are struggling with reading as a result of recent school closures.

Shetland Arts is also one of a number of agencies in the Highlands and Islands which will share nearly £270,000 from a Creative Scotland fund.

Also involved are An Lanntair (Stornoway), Pier Arts Centre (Stromness), and Taigh Chearsabhagh Trust (North Uist).

It follows on from the Between Islands arts project, which brings together Shetland, Orkney and the Western Isles.

Shetland Arts has also received funding to create an artist residency and exchange between Shetland and San Antonio in Texas, exploring extraction economy and the environment in these two diverse geographies.

Exhibition manager Jane Matthews said: “Shetland Arts is thrilled to have to the opportunity to build a partnership with The McNay Art Museum in San Antonio, Texas and connect our two artistic communities. Shetland – the archipelago at the most northerly tip of the UK – thrives off the oil and gas fields that skirt it, but now looks to renewables for its future

“With the industrialisation and oil-rich economies of our two distinct geographies as the creative catalyst, we hope to inspire new work that will spark and arc locally, nationally and internationally, addressing questions of sustainability and climate change as COP26 comes to Scotland.”

The funding for the project is coming from a collaboration between British Council Scotland and Creative Scotland aimed at stimulating international collaboration.