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Also in the news / Spaceport decision published, ukulele workshops, science talks and more…

The SaxaVord space port is expected to host the first vertical satellite launching the UK late in 2022. Image: Rory Gillies for SaxaVord (UK) Spaceport

SHETLAND Islands Council planners have published their reasoning behind giving consent to the SaxaVord Spaceport in Unst.

Its decision notice, which can be found in the council’s planning portal, highlighted that the project has been deemed of “national strategic importance” by the UK and Scottish governments, and that it attracted more letters of support than objection.

The planning decision came with a swathe of conditions which must be adhered to.

Due to the nature of the development the council’s decision has been directed to Scottish ministers, who have 28 days to assess their position.


A UKULELE “impresario” has heading to Shetland to spend two months to teach youth music programme for children in the North Isles.

Paul Moore will be based in Unst and will deliver sessions to children and teens from the island as well as Yell and Fetlar.

It will also culminate in concerts at several venues in the North Isles and Lerwick.

Moore has performed at folk festivals and ukulele events in the UK, Europe and beyond.

He is best known for his ongoing project Ukuleles for Peace, which brings together Jewish and Arab children in Israel/Palestine, and serves as a vehicle for cross-cultural understanding and communication.

The youth programme is called Island Ukuleles and is managed by clarsach (harp) player and creative director of Hamars & Harps Ltd., Sunita Staneslow, who was awarded a grant for the project by Creative Scotland’s Youth Music Initiative.


AN ‘EVENING of science’ is taking place at the Shetland Museum and Archives later this month as Anderson High School pupils give a series of presentations.

The event, hosted by the science baccalaureate group at the Anderson High School, will take place on Wednesday 16 March between 7pm and 8.30pm.

Lois Phillips will speak on Alzheimer’s and gut biome, Saima Ansary will give a presentation on treatments of MS and Alisha Tulloch will discuss the effects of anaesthetic on metastasis.

Sam Smith meanwhile will speak about the past, present and future of electric guitar, and Charlie Bristow will give a presentation about the science of humour.


SHETLAND’s Covid case rate is continuing to tail off slightly, with 44 new cases confirmed.

Across Scotland there has been more than 9,500 new cases and 24 deaths.


LOCAL author Lindsay Tonner has published a new poetry collection touching on “love, loss, chronic illness and everything in between, in the uncertain time of Covid-19”.

Her collection Woman-19 was published through Olympia in January.

People can buy the book in paperback or ebook here.


THE COUNCIL is reminding anyone aged 60 plus or with disabled travel concessions to show their National Entitlement Card (NEC) when they make a booking or travel on NorthLink Ferries.

Changes have recently been made to paper ferry vouchers issued by Transport Scotland, which now no longer display the ‘C+’ and the ‘Visual’ symbols for anyone eligible to have a companion to provide assistance when travelling.

Shetland Island Council is reassuring anyone with those entitlements that these are still in place, including the companion entitlement, despite the paper vouchers no longer carrying these symbols.

Anyone travelling on the NorthLink ferries must still carry their NEC – commonly known as a ‘free bus pass’ – which will show the correct entitlement symbols.

If the card is not carried, the passenger and/or companion may still be liable to be charged for their travel.

Paper vouchers must be presented to NorthLink Ferries in conjunction with their NEC to prove entitlement.