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Also in the news / Folk festival schedule, broadband challenge, Yell ferry problems and more…

Frigg will be on the line-up at the folk festival.

THE CONCERT schedule for the returning Shetland Folk Festival has been revealed.

The opening concert will see Dougie MacLean perform at Mareel in Lerwick on Thursday 28 April.

Other venues in the programme, which can be viewed online, include the Cunningsburgh Hall, the Big Kirk in Lerwick and the Mid Yell Hall.

Tickets will go on sale to early members from 6pm on Monday (21 March). General sale will be from 28 March.

MEANWHILE an application to keep the Lerwick Legion open until 3am to host folk festival late gigs will go in front of councillors next week.

As part of a modified folk festival in late April there are plans to host ‘late’ standing gigs after the usual evening concerts, with acts like First Foot Soldiers and The Revellers on the line-ups.

This is in absence of the usual late night festival club performances in Islesburgh.

A meeting of the Shetland licensing board will meet on Monday to consider the occasional licence application.

CONNECTING houses to superfast broadband in the north of Scotland will be “challenging and expensive”, a new report has reiterated.

The Auditor General for Scotland today (Tuesday) released an update on the Scottish Government’s R100 programme, which aims to bring superfast broadband to every property in the country.

While a voucher scheme was launched for properties with no planned coverage, the new report reiterated the challenges with connecting all.

Auditor general for Scotland Stephen Boyle said: “The pandemic has shown that a fast and reliable broadband connection is an essential utility. But there is still work to do to connect or upgrade around 100,000 homes and businesses as part of the Scottish Government’s plans.

“Infrastructure work, particularly in the Highlands and Islands will continue for a number of years. These are properties in the hardest to reach locations with difficult terrain, making it a huge challenge for government and its partners.”

THE YELL ferry route is running with a single vessel service for the second day in a row.

Problems with the linkspan at Ulsta means the Dagalien can dock but the smaller Fivla cannot.

CRIME levels in the Highlands and Islands remain consistent as Covid restrictions continue to be relaxed.

New figures show that the number of crime reports for a range of offences have either stayed the same, or fluctuated only slightly, compared to the same period the previous year.

Chief superintendent Conrad Trickett thanked officers’ efforts in the region.

“To further assist local policing in the Highlands and Islands, Police Scotland is making significant investment in digital technology for the region, which will enable police officers to create and update crime records on mobile devices reducing the time they spend returning to the office to update systems at their desks,” he said.