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Education / UHI’s centre for island creativity to move into college

UHI Shetland's Lerwick campus.

THE UNIVERSITY of the Highlands and Islands’ (UHI) centre for island creativity is set to be based within Shetland College in the next academic year.

The update was given at a meeting of the Shetland College board on Wednesday by college principal Jane Lewis, who hailed it as a “good news story”.

The centre for island creativity supports research, post-graduate taught learning and knowledge exchange across the Highlands and Islands.

Lewis said the centre, which was first called the centre for rural creativity, had previously been run out of the executive office of the UHI.

It is now set to move into Shetland College, although it will still operate across UHI colleges.

“We are very excited that the centre has had substantial grant funding and has developed a number of new courses,” Lewis added.

She said courses through the centre such as the MA art and social practice have proved popular, with 35 taking part this year.

Lewis added that the centre for creativity “is really coming into its own now”.

The meeting also heard that no firm plans have been set for new student accommodation in Shetland.

The long-running issue was raised by Shetland West member Theo Smith, who said that having designated accommodation could attract people from outside the isles to study at the planned new merged college.

“We are very aware of the need to support student accommodation,” Lewis said.

“You might remember in the ministerial merger business plan [for the merged college] there was some funding included there for student accommodation.”

She said the merger team is still waiting to hear back about the business case, but student accommodation is identified as a possible use of existing buildings at the former Anderson High School site.

The redevelopment of the old school site at the Knab in Lerwick is part of a funding bid to the UK and Scottish governments’ islands deal.

There were previously plans for student accommodation on the site of the former HNP Engineers base at Commercial Road in Lerwick, but they fell through.