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Community / Councillors pleased to see fire festivals back as late licence given for Scalloway

Guizers during the procession at Scalloway Fire Festival in 2020.

COUNCILLORS have welcomed the impending return of the Up Helly Aa season after granting a late licence for the Scalloway Fire Festival.

Members of the Shetland licensing board had no hesitation in giving consent for the Scalloway Legion to be open until 3am on Saturday 14 January for the village’s fire festival.

It will also open from 5pm to 11.30pm later that day for the hop.

The fire festival is deemed to be a “special event of local or national significance” within the local statement of licensing policy.

No fire festivals have been held in Shetland since coronavirus struck in the spring of 2020, and the Scalloway shindig in mid-January will be the first of the 2023 season.

Shetland Central member Catherine Hughson said: “It’s great to see Up Helly Aas getting back on the calendar, so I would be fully supportive of the application.”

Shetland North councillor Emma Macdonald added: “It’s good to see Up Helly Aas back and [a] return to more normal life for communities.”

Meanwhile the board also approved a number of occasional licences for the new Auld Manse B&B in Whalsay.

The licences were sought for on-sales in the cafe and function room between November and January until a full premises licence is determined.

North Isles member Ryan Thomson said it was “very heartening” to see a new business open up in Whalsay.

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