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Community / Aith Hall and Old Scatness projects awarded grants in latest round of coastal funding

The Old Scatness site has been open during the Easter weekend for tours and to gather views on its long-term future. Photo: SAT

PROJECTS including upgrades to the Aith Hall and a drive to support the sustainability of the historic Old Scatness site are among the recent beneficiaries of Shetland’s coastal communities fund.

The fund is administered by Shetland Islands Council, and it distributes money to community projects from net revenues from Crown Estate assets out to 12 miles at sea.

A significant upgrade to the Aith Hall has been given nearly £70,000 from the fund after councillors approved the application last week.

This will include insulation and the upgrade of the toiles, and a new heating system.

Westside councillor Liz Peterson said the hall was an “extremely valued” part of the community, but conceded its toilets were “freezing” at the moment.

Any applications for funding below £50,000 have been dealt with by a panel.

At the last panel meeting on 8 December four grants in total were approved under delegated authority.

A project involving the historic Old Scatness site received £25,000.

It is described as the first stage in making the site, run by Shetland Amenity Trust, economically viable – while it would potentially enable an application for World Heritage status for Shetland.

Work on a bid for Shetland to become a World Heritage site has been ongoing for a number of years.

The new Scatness funding will support the engagement of the expertise needed to draw up a range of technical, conservation and excavation plans, feasibility studies and a business case to ensure the conservation, interpretation and long-term sustainability of the site.

Elsewhere the Sound Primary School parent council has received £17,545 to support plans to regenerate a piece of wasteland there into a growing area and nature garden.

The Outpost in Burra has been given more than £15,000 for solar power equipment.

The Burra History Group meanwhile was successful in securing just over £10,000 to undertake a feasibility study into options for the roof on the historic, A-listed Easthouse croft.

At Wednesday’s full council meeting elected members also approved a change to the fund’s application process which should speed up the response to bids for less than £25,000.

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