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Community / MP unhappy Shetland left off map in UK marketing campaign

NORTHERN Isles MP Alistair Carmichael has written to the UK Government to question why Shetland and Orkney have been left off a map used in an international marketing campaign.

The isles are absent from the ‘Welcome to GREAT Britain and Northern Ireland’ campaign, which can be seen in airports.

Carmichael said he was surprised to see this – especially as the Isle of Man, which is not part of the UK, is included.

Being left off the map, of course, is nothing new for residents of Shetland, which has historically often been placed in a box near the mainland.

Carmichael said it was also a disservice to Northern Isles businesses which have had “remarkable success” in areas like marine renewable and whisky.

He has now written to cabinet office minister Steve Barclay MP to raise the matter further.

“You may be aware that the non-inclusion of the Northern Isles within maps of the UK – official or otherwise – is a point of ongoing frustration for our communities, as we strongly believe that we are as much an integral part of this country as any other area,” Carmichael wrote.

“Indeed my colleague, former Shetland MSP Tavish Scott, campaigned successfully to ensure that no maps produced for the Scottish Government would exclude the Northern Isles or relegate them to misleading locations on the map.”

He added: “The GREAT campaign is of course intended to present our country to the world in the best possible light, to encourage investment and trade for UK businesses.

“Northern Isles businesses and organisations have had remarkable success in recent years in developing world-leading marine renewables technologies, selling whisky and other spirits globally and producing outstanding food products for the world market.

“It would seem only reasonable that the isles should appear on UK marketing just as any other part of the UK.”

The MP also raised the issue in the House of Commons last week, with leader of the house Mark Spencer replying: “I understand the point the right hon. Gentleman makes.

“He is a huge advocate for Orkney and Shetland, and I know he will continue to ensure their voice is heard in this house.

“I will make sure that those Ministers responsible for the advertising campaign are aware of their faux pas.”