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Also in the news / Plant operator award, graffiti concern, next Althing debate and more…

Deklyn Feather (left) and Ellis Nicolson.

A SHETLAND man has been named plant operator apprentice of the year by the Scottish Plant Owners Association.

Deklyn Feather, 31, works as an apprentice for EMN Plant Ltd.

He said: “I think it’s fair to say that this has been emotional for me. I’ve never experienced anything like this before, so many people have taken the time to congratulate me since it was announced, it means a lot.

“The apprenticeship training with the CITB at the college at Bircham Newton is so good it is mind blowing.”

EMN Plant general manager Ellis Nicolson said: “I am extremely delighted for Deklyn as he is a very conscientious employee and has taken his training very seriously. This award is very well deserved.

“We are keen to get more young people into our industry as it’s the only way of addressing the shortage of labour.


CHAIR of Lerwick Community Council, JimAnderson, has reported an act of vandalism to police after a swastika graffiti appeared on one of the display boards at the Clickimin Loch.

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Members of the community council expressed their displeasure when the topic was briefly discussed at a meeting earlier this week.

Various options around how to remove the offending graffiti and how to prevent a similar incident from happening again were discussed.

Community councillors felt that Lerwick had so for “not been blighted” with graffiti like this and expressed the hope that it would stay like that.


MEANWHILE, at the same meeting, community councillors were unable to respond fully to funding requests to the Shetland Community Benefit Fund because not enough cash was left in the pot.

Under the agreement with the community benefit fund, which administers payments from the Viking Energy wind farm, Lerwick Community Council gets an allocation of £10,000 per year.

On Monday evening, community councillors were asked to consider funding applications worth almost £7,200 while there was just £1,458 left for the current financial year.

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As a result, Sound School Parent Council was asked to direct its application for £4,382.18 as part of a larger project to redevelop unused land next to the school to Shetland Charitable Trust.

The remaining funds in the community benefit pot were then allocated to Sail Training Shetland, which had asked for £2,800 to help sponsoring sail trainees during this year’s Tall Ships Races.


THE NEXT Althing debate will discuss the motion ‘Shetland’s dependency on the private car has to end’.

Speakers for will be Gary Robinson and Neil Clubb, and debating against the motion will be Moraig Lyall and Vic Thomas.

The event takes place at Lerwick Town Hall on Saturday 18 February, starting at 7.30pm.


TWO Shetland arts and craft businesses have been awarded four-star quality assurance (QA) status by national tourism organisation VisitScotland.

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Unst’s Glansin Glass was awarded its visitor attraction/activity provider QA award, and Sarah Kay Arts, based in Scalloway, achieved its tourist shop award. Both achieved four stars at their first ever grading visit.

Glansin Glass’ Cheryl Jamieson said: “We’ve worked hard to make it a great place for folk to visit, so it’s wonderful for this to be recognised.

“Customers can view my glassware, learn more about how it’s made, and then have a go making something themselves.”

Based in Scalloway, Sarah Kay creates a range of jewellery, artwork and crafts inspired by the islands and the aurora borealis – or mirrie dancers.

She said: “Getting the award gave me a boost in confidence for having visitors come to my studio. The advice and positive feedback from VisitScotland have me looking forward to 2023 with extra vigour.”

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THERE has been some change in the directorship of the company behind the SaxaVord Spaceport.

Former Shetland MSP Tavish Scott and financial services expert Todd Ruppert have stepped down as directors at Shetland Space Centre Ltd.

A spokesperson for the company said the pair’s terms as directors had come to an end.

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