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Also in the news / Shop local this Christmas, new pelagic trawler, Norwick Up Helly Aa cancelled, superkraut scoops award, misleading renewables figures, knitting to recommence

IN A bid to encourage shoppers to embrace the ‘Shop Local’ message, Celia Smith of Blyde Welcome has created an online Christmas gift guide for the second year running.

Over 70 small local businesses have joined the initiative in a bid to showcase their products and services, ranging from food and homewares to fashion, jewellery and other gifts.

The gift guide was launched earlier this month and it can be found on Facebook or at @blyde_welcome on Instagram.

Smith said: “By shopping locally shoppers are not only supporting local families, they could also be getting a much better shopping experience.

“All of the gifts featured have either been made locally or offer a local service from a friendly and possibly ‘well-kent’ face.”

When putting the guide together, Smith said she was very keen to support as many local crafters and maakers as possible, so decided not to charge businesses for inclusion in the guide.

LOCAL fishing company Fiskebas has ordered a new pelagic trawler to be built by the Spanish shipyard Zamakona, according to Irish fishing magazine Skipper.

The 69.6 metre vessel will replace the partnership’s current vessel Antarctic II, which was built in 2004.

The new vessel will be built entirely at the Bilbao shipyard, based on a design from Skipsteknisk of Alesund, Norway.

According to the Skipper the new vessel will have accommodation for 14 people and a high focus on efficiency in water circulation within the cargo tanks, and reliability of the complete trawling and fish handling systems.

NEXT year’s Norwick Up Helly Aa in Unst has been cancelled.

The committee aims to press ahead with a full festival in 2023.

The event usually takes place in late February.

A number of 2022 Up Helly Aa events have already been cancelled due to the impact of the Covid pandemic, including Lerwick, Bressay and the Scalloway fire festival.

Last year no Up Helly Aa festivals went ahead due to the pandemic.

Evonne Morrison with her Superkraut range.

LOCAL fermented food company Good Nude Food is celebrating after scooping a top prize at the UK Quality Food & Drink Awards, winning the pickled and fermented category.

A growing food trend, the company’s live sauerkraut range Superkraut took over the shortlist this year with all three of their products in the final.

Judges were so impressed with each Superkraut that they decided to highly commend the company’s other two flavours.

The company was also shortlisted for small producer of the year, which saw owner Evonne Morrison pitch her Superkraut range to the Co-op buying team.

She did not win this category but said she was “grateful to have been up against some of the UK’s best small food producers and given the opportunity to pitch to a national retailer”.

A LONDON-based fact checking service has corrected first minister Nicola Sturgeon who earlier this month claimed that Scotland had “virtually decarbonised our electricity supply”.

“Just short of 100 per cent of all electricity we use is from renewable sources,” she said on 1 November.

Full Fact said the statement would be correct if Scotland used all its renewable electricity, but it doesn’t because a substantial amount is being exported, and there is a large amount of electricity that comes from nuclear and from oil to balance the network.

But to suggest it is almost 100 per cent is misleading, Full Fact said.

In 2020, 56 per cent of the electricity consumed in Scotland came from renewable sources, 30 per cent from nuclear and 13 per cent from oil, according to estimates from the Scottish Government.

HAND knitting tuition, organised by ShetlandPeerieMakkers and hosted in primary schools across the isles, is set to recommence following an 18-month interruption due to the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Shetland Islands Council has confirmed that the programme of volunteer-led tuition can be resumed at the discretion of head teachers, subject to risk assessments undertaken in each school.

ShetlandPeerieMakkers was established by the Brough Lodge Trust. Its chairperson, Pierre Cambillard, said: “We’re delighted that our tutors can, once, again, provide these hand-knitting classes in schools.

“They’ve proved very popular with children and of course the tuition is an essential foundation if Shetland’s hand-knitting heritage is to survive and thrive.”

Meanwhile the project has attracted a number of local sponsors including Jamiesons of Shetland as well Nortenergy, the social enterprise behind the successful Polycrub.