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Also in the news / ORION website, Cunningsburgh cafe lease, schools spaceport competition and more

The ORION project is seen a key way of Shetland going net zero.

MORE information on the ORION clean energy project is now available on its new website.

The aim of the wide-reaching project is to transform the area around Shetland into a centre for secure and affordable clean energy.

One section of the website looks to explain the benefits to the community.

Shetland Islands Council is a partner in the project and its infrastructure director John Smith said: “ORION’s aims are wide-ranging, involving partners from a number of sectors, and it’s great to have such a comprehensive website now in place.

“The website shares a lot of up to date information on the project and promotes the opportunity for better engagement with individuals and organisation that are interested in the ORION project’s aims.”


A NEW company is set to run the cafe at Mackenzie’s in Cunningsburgh.

The cafe lease has been secured by local company The Kitchen Table, which is run by Emma Williamson and Laura Farquahar.

They are due to take over the cafe next month.


THE LOCAL planning service chose not to seek an application for consent for the newly installed plaque honouring the Shetland TV series – despite its location being a conservation area.

The small plaque, which is located on the ground next to the ‘Jimmy Perez’ lodberry in Lerwick, was unveiled on Tuesday.

Plaque honouring TV show unveiled in Lerwick by actor Henshall

Shetland has three conservation areas, and the one in question is the Lerwick Lanes area.

Once an area is designated, it is the duty of the council to pay special attention to the desirability of preserving or enhancing its character and appearance.

A spokesperson for the SIC said: “The council’s development management service, after assessing the situation, did not invite an application for consent for the proposed plaque.”


SCHOOLS pupils in Shetland have this week taken part in a national spaceport competition designed to promote UK spaceflight to younger audiences.

The competition, run in conjunction with Lockheed Martin and the Royal Aeronautical Society, saw pupils given a brief to design a UK spaceport to launch space vehicles.

Pupils had to think about the buildings and facilities needed at a spaceport and consider the cost and performance.

The competition was aimed at P7 and S1 children, and pupils and staff from eight local schools were involved: the Anderson and Brae High schools, Baltasound, Sandwick and Whalsay junior high schools and the Hamnavoe, Happyhansel and Cullivoe Primary schools.

Winning designs will be announced in a few weeks.

Whalsay School headteacher Garry Spence said: “Our pupils have worked really well together in their groups and they’ve been fully engaged with this competition.

“They’ve learned a lot about spaceports and we hope some of them have been inspired to consider work in the space industry, which realistically could soon be in Shetland.”


SHETLAND MSP Beatrice Wishart says it is “long past time to end stigma and discrimination around mental ill health”.

Ahead of World Mental Health Day on 10 October, Wishart said loneliness and isolation can take hold more easily in rural areas.

“In Scotland alone there is statistic after statistic that proves more must be done,” Wishart said.

“I am full of admiration for the Shetland youth group Chillax, who pre-Covid voluntarily started a self-help group to raise awareness of mental health, and developed workshops for schools and youth clubs.

“Pandemic restrictions has only made us all more vulnerable and highlighted the issue.”


HIGHLANDS and Islands MSP Jamie Halcro Johnston believes support from economic development agencies like Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) is vital if Scotland is to achieve its net zero ambitions.

The Scottish Conservative MSP, a member of the Scottish Parliament’s economy committee, made his remarks after the committee took evidence from businesses at Holyrood earlier this week (Wednesday).

Halcro Johnston, who is his party’s spokesman on business and enterprise, said: “Scotland has committed to reach net zero by 2045, but these targets will not be met unless business is given the advice and support it needs.

“While there is real passion from many business leaders – and good progress from some businesses – there are still too many which, for whatever reasons, are not engaging yet with the process.”