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Also in the news / AHS sculptures, gas field, net zero funding, island research and more…

One of the sculptures. Both photos: Abigail Clark

THE COUNCIL has “no immediate plans” for two sculptures which have been made accessible following demolition work at the old Anderson High School.

The sculptures, which were located within a courtyard at the Janet Courtney Hostel, are understood to have been the work of pupils in the 2000s.

They have been “well seen over the years” within the courtyard but have only become accessible after walls were removed.

A spokesperson for Shetland Islands Council said: “These sculptures were previously sited within in a courtyard in the Janet Courtney Hostel that has now been removed and so the sculptures are now visible and accessible.

“There are no immediate plans for the sculptures and they will remain where they are for the time being.”

SHETLAND gas plant operator TotalEnergies is providing no comment to reports that it is looking to sell a third of its stake in the Laggan-Tormore gas fields.

Gas extracted from the fields is taken by pipeline to the plant near Sullom Voe Terminal.

Reuters is reporting that TotalEnergies is looking to sell a third of its 60 per cent stake in the fields.

The fields are located to the north west of Shetland.

A SHETLAND project will receive a share of a £1.47 million funding post for net zero transition.

The financial support is coming from Highlands and Islands Enterprise.

More details of the Shetland based project in line for funding is expected to be announced soon.

Scottish Government tourism minister Ivan McKee said: “With less than a month to go until COP26, this funding will help tourism businesses the length and breadth of the Highlands and Islands to deliver on our net zero targets, reduce carbon emissions and develop innovative experiences for visitors.”

ISLAND-based researchers at the University of the Highlands and Islands are inviting likeminded folk from across the world to join a new free seminar series starting today (Thursday).

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The ‘Islands Matter’ collaborative programme has been set up to strengthen the university’s world-leading pan-island research activities and nurture global networking connections.

Each seminar addresses a range of island-based economic and cultural topics and questions to facilitate new ways of thinking and collaborations by sharing learning and research between island communities.

Dr Andrew Jennings from the UHI’s Institute for Northern Studies said it has been a “pleasure to work with colleagues Professor Frank Rennie and Dr Beth Mouat to bring this new series to life”.

The first webinar takes place on today (7 October) at 12 noon and features guest speaker James Ellsmoor – an entrepreneur, writer and sustainability expert who is described as one of the world’s leading island voices.

To find out more information and register to attend visit here.

HIGHLANDS and Islands MSP Emma Roddick has welcomed a £300 million investment in the NHS as part of Scotland’s recovery from the pandemic.

The funding will help the NHS through what is predicted to be one of the toughest winters and will “ensure a cash injection for health services in Shetland”.

SNP MSP Roddick said: “The NHS in Shetland has experienced incredible pressure due to the pandemic and without our heroic NHS staff we would not be in the situation now where cases are falling and we are living with minimal restrictions.

“The SNP Scottish Government has already reaffirmed its commitment to the NHS with a four per cent pay rise – the biggest pay rise in the history of devolution. Now, it will receive the biggest cash injection in the history of devolution.”

HOWEVER Northern Isles MSP Liam McArthur and Beatrice Wishart have called out the lack “meaningful island-proofing” on the Scottish Government’s Covid recovery strategy paper.

The strategy paper outlines the Scottish Government’s ambition and aims for Scotland’s recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic, but the the Liberal Democrat MSPs said it only gives reference to island communities once.

Wishart said: “The islands have faced unique challenges during the Covid-19 crisis. We should see some bespoke solutions to help mitigate these challenges as we recover.

“All we have instead is commitments long past their original deadline. Reheating old, unfulfilled promises is simply running out of road.”

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