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Community / New Glansin visitor centre to open at the weekend

Cheryl Jamieson is opening her new workshop and visitor centre at the weekend.

AN UNST based craft maker is preparing to open her new studio and visitor centre this coming weekend.

Cheryl Jamieson of Glansin Glass had been looking forward to opening the new premises in spring last year, but then the pandemic struck and her plans were delayed by a full year.

She began her business in 2008, working from home making fused glass products. As demand for her work grew she moved into a portacabin in 2012.

The ultimate plan, however, has always been to have purpose built premises, a dream that has now become a reality.

The new building offers space for a shop, a workshop and an area where customers can have a go at making their own glass masterpiece, Cheryl said.

“Sometimes I have to pinch myself. I can’t believe we finally made it happen. When I started working with glass I knew I’d found something that made me happy and made others happy,” she added.

“I was surprised at how quickly the business took off but was always hampered by lack of space. It was fine when the bairns were younger to keep the business smaller giving a good work/life balance but now they’re grown up it seemed a good time to look at expanding.”

Discussions with advisors from the Shetland LEADER programme, which distributes EU and Scottish Government money at a local level, got underway in 2018 and construction work finally started in October 2019.

Cheryl remembers: “We were starting to breathe a bit easier at that point and were looking forward to opening up in Spring 2020. Then coronavirus hit and put paid to that.”

“It’s been hard over this past year but I’ve had amazing support from the funders, Business Gateway, and especially family, friends and customers who have spurred me on.”

Osla Jamwal-Fraser, Shetland Tourism Association’s newly appointed development officer, said the new studio and visitor centre will be an asset to Unst.

“It’s absolutely marvellous to see Cheryl moving forwards so positively right now,” she said.

“What she has managed to achieve is a testament to her talent, determination, and resilience. I had the privilege of a pre-opening tour of the Glansin Glass visitor centre just after they became STA members, and I’m sure it’s going to be a great asset to the local community and visitors to Shetland alike.”

Due to Covid-19 restrictions the opening ceremony will be private but streamed digitally as a Facebook Live event at 12 noon on Saturday (29 May).

Then from Sunday 30 May to Saturday 5 June visitors can book online at www.glansinglass.co.uk for a VIP tour, where they get their own half hour time slot and will be shown around by Cheryl.

Normal business will begin from Wednesday 9 June with the shop opens and glass-making slots are made available.