Also in the news / Annex opens, STEM lessons, watercolour exhibition, free chowder and more…

 A NEW retail space for small craft producers is set to open in a converted garage in Gulberwick this weekend

The project is the brainchild of Robin Jones of Kaleidoscope Designs who created the retail space for herself and 14 other small craft businesses.

The Annex is located at Shurton Brae and follows the ‘fridge cake principle’ that is common throughout the isles.

Jones has received assistance from Business Gateway and has also successfully raised more than £1,500 through crowdfunding to convert the garage into a retail space.

It will be open between 10 am and 7pm this weekend and will thereafter be open for a minimum of five days a week, Jones said.

Daggri by Peter Davis.

SHETLAND Museum and Archives will be unveiling a contemporary art exhibition in its Gadderie space this weekend that is inspired by the extremes of the local landscape.


The exhibition, which comprises almost 40 watercolours, is called Clear Sight and features the recent work of award-winning Shetland-based artist Peter Davis.

Drawing on the natural environment and the clarity of views from his home, the paintings are said to be a collection of subtle works that are connected by the stillness and flow of sea, land and weather.

“At a simplistic level, since I moved three years ago to Silwick, I now have a clear sight of the sea which has been a constant in my painting for decades,” Davis said.

“Clear sight also describes my sense of where I am now and where I want to be in developing my work in future.”

The exhibition starts today (Saturday) at 2pm and will run through to 5 March.

PRIMARY school children in Shetland are in line to receive enhanced lessons thanks to an expansion of UHI’s STEM outreach programme, funded by four offshore wind project developers.

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Over the last six years, UHI has delivered a STEM outreach programme to early years settings and primary schools across the Highland Council area.

But this is now being extended to schools in Orkney, the Western Isles, Shetland, Argyll and Bute, Moray and Perthshire thanks to funding worth £900,000 from developers behind the West of Orkney Windfarm.

The expansion will be supported through the employment of eight part-time and two full-time STEM coordinators. The full-time roles will be located in Caithness, Sutherland and Orkney.

Alison Wilson, director of advancement and alumni engagement at UHI, said: “This is the largest package of corporate giving we have received and UHI is hugely grateful to these developers for their considerable support.”

A NEW venture called Take Time Out has begun Staney Hill Hall, offering a warm space with light lunches and tea or coffee.


It is being run by St. Columba’s Church and Shetland Foodbank volunteers between 12pm and 3pm each Monday and offers a warm space with the chance to chat and relax.

It is aimed particularly at the many single people living in the local area. A variety of board games, cards and other activities are on offer.

Alistair Carmichael is the Liberal Democrat MP for Orkney and Shetland.Photo: Shetland News

LOCAL MP Alistair Carmichael, has welcomed the release this week of a new report by the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Fisheries, suggesting solutions to the growing competition for space in UK waters.

The report follows discussions in parliament in November last year between politicians and industry stakeholders on the best way to manage competing needs (including environmental protection and energy development) without solely squeezing out local fishermen.


In response Carmichael said: “Having raised the growing concerns for the fishing industry around spatial squeeze in Parliament for some time I am enormously pleased to see this report arrive. It reinforces exactly what fishermen have been saying.

“The industry does not object to sharing our seas with others – they simply do not want to be the first cut out of discussions.”

FREE Shetland seafood chowder will be available from the Taste of Shetland catering trailer on the morning of Lerwick’s Up Helly Aa.

Shetland Fishermen’s Association (SFA) and Taste of Shetland have arranged the event to promote the recently revamped Shetland Seafood Provenance Scheme.

The trailer will be located at the south side of the Albert Building in Lerwick Harbour.

Copies of the association’s recently published book 75 Years of the SFA will also be available to buy at Monday afternoon’s Up Helly Aa food market at Mareel, along with free tasters of smoked haddock mac n’ cheese and fish curry.


THE VAST majority of businesses in the Highlands and Islands have been taking action to support their employees in response to the cost crisis.

This is according to Scotland’s latest Rural Business Survey commissioned by Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE), South of Scotland Enterprise, and the Scottish Government.

More than a thousand Highlands and Islands businesses responded to the survey, which was carried out between 5 October and 30 November 2022.

Martin Johnson, HIE’s director of strategy and regional economy, said: “The feedback shows many of the real impacts all of this has been having, not just on our region’s businesses but on the people involved in those businesses, and how they have been adapting.

“It’s very encouraging, for example, to see so many adopting fair work principles to support their employees and applying innovation to fine tune their operations and navigate the most trying of circumstances.”

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