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Also in the news / Spaceport team expands, town centre marquee, SSMO chair steps down, sports inclusion survey and more…

ONE of UK’s “most respected rocket engineers” has joined the SaxaVord UK Spaceport team as launch campaign manager.

Ben Jarvis, the founder of Raptor Aerospace, has more than 30 years of experience in launching atmospheric and sub-orbital rockets from ranges across the UK and the world.

SaxaVord Spaceport CEO Frank Strang said: “We are absolutely delighted to have Ben on board. He brings an unparalleled wealth of understanding, knowledge and experience of the launch industry in the UK.

“As we move to the development then operational phases at SaxaVord Spaceport, his contribution to the project will be invaluable on many levels.”

Jarvis said: “I very much look forward to working with the amazing team at SaxaVord, continuing to use my 30+ years of experience of safely launching rockets in the UK to help get the first commercial space launches from UK soil off the ground.”

LIVING Lerwick is planning to buy a marquee to enable events to be held in the town centre without having to worry too much about the weather.

Lerwick Community Council agreed on Monday to contribute £1,000 towards the costs.

Living Lerwick project manager Emma Miller told members that the hope is to hold more events in and around Commercial Street.

The organisation has previously hosted live music for instance on scaffold stages but Miller said this was not always watertight and considered a bit of an eyesore.

It is also planning a ‘Think Local First’ marketing campaign to encourage more folk to buy in Lerwick, while it also intends to extend the Spend at Da Street loyalty scheme.

Living Lerwick also looking to provide sponsorship of a town centre webcam.

IAN Walterson has stepped down from his role as chair of Shetland Shellfish Management Organisation (SSMO) after 15 years.

He has also resigned as a director.

Robert Williamson, who was already a director, has become the new chair.

SSMO vice-chair Garry Leask also resigned, with Sydney Johnson stepping into the post.

A spokesman said: “Ian has been an SSMO director for 22 years and his knowledge and dedication to this voluntary role will be sorely missed. We wish Robert and Sydney well in their new positions on the SSMO board.”

SHETLAND Islands Council spent at least £2,000 on hosting the Prince Charles during his recent visit to the isles.

A freedom of information request from Shetland News shows that the local authority spent £1,258.30 on the Scalloway fish market opening, £584.45 on civic hospitality and £156.45 on decoration.

There is one additional cost which has not yet been fully calculated.

The Duke of Rothesay visited Shetland at the end of July to formally open the new Lerwick and Scalloway fish markets, while he also headed to Lerwick Town Hall and Uradale Farm.

A SURVEY called Inclusion in Sports and Physical Recreation has been launched by Ability Shetland.

The purpose of the survey is to gather the views of the public on how the charity can increase sports and physical recreation opportunities for individuals with physical, sensory or learning disabilities in Shetland.

If anyone needs the survey in any other format they can contact AbilityShetland@shetland.org.

The survey, which closes on 30 September, can be found online here.

Shetland fastest man and woman event took place at the Co-op carpark last weekend.

SHETLAND’s ‘fastest’ man and woman have been crowned following a fundraising cycling competition at the weekend.

People could pay £1 entry to see how fast they could cover 500 metres on an exercise bike which was located outside the Lerwick Co-p.

The competition was hosted by the Rotary Club of Shetland to raise money for Prostate Scotland. Nearly £250 was raised.

The men’s event was won by Jonathan Cheatill of Lerwick and Layla Todd of Vidlin reigned in the women’s section.

Both will receive a month’s free subscription to a gym or swimming pool at a leisure centre of their choice, while Prostate Scotland will be providing a cycling jersey to each.

The Rotary Club of Shetland thanked those who took part and the Co-op for its help.

AT LEAST three of Scotland’s islands will become fully carbon neutral by 2040, the Scottish Government says.

The Carbon Neutral Islands project will also demonstrate the low carbon energy potential of Scotland’s islands as hubs of innovation in renewable energy and climate change resilience, whilst “positively impacting on island economies and population retention and growth”.

The project will involve carbon audits across the islands and a pilot phase to inform learning.

Islands secretary Mairi Gougeon said: “We know that our islands are vulnerable to the impacts of climate change but also have huge potential and natural capital that will help us meet our net zero ambition.”

The government said it will soon start a consultation to get views on how the project can be progressed.