Also in the news / Tall Ships sponsor, fishing poll, shop reduces hours and more…

From left to right: SSEN's trainee engineer Freya Laurenson, lead project manager Vlad Kulizhka and operations manager George Priest pictured with Tall Ships project manager Emma Miller. Photo: Lakota Clubb/Shetland Tall Ships Ltd

SSEN Distribution has signed on as a “cadet’s deck” sponsor for this summer’s Tall Ships Lerwick event.

The company, which delivers power to over 3.8 million customers in the north of Scotland and central southern England, said it was thrilled to get behind such an important event for the local community.

SSEN has over 20 staff, including apprentices and trainees, at its Lerwick depot to ensure a safe, secure and reliable power supply for homes and businesses in communities across the islands.

It also has seven part-time workers based in the islands to help restore supplies when there are faults.

Shetland Tall Ships Ltd project manager Emma Miller said: “It’s great to have the local SSEN team involved with the event, both from a sponsorship perspective and for the on-the-ground advice and assistance they may be able to give with our event sites’ power requirements.”

SSEN’s local head of operations George Priest said the Tall Ships race is a “major event for Shetland, and we’re delighted to be supporting such a key date in the islands’ calendar”.


MEANWHILE a temporary site compound including an office, welfare facilities and parking space is being proposed on the outskirts of Lerwick to facilitate an SSEN transmission project.

Planning permission has been sought through to 2025 for a site off Ladies Drive near the Lerwick Brewery building.

THE SCOTTISH Fishermen’s Federation (SFF) has accused an alliance supporting the “sustainable use of our coastal seas” of misleading people on a recent poll.

Our Seas, an alliance of Scottish organisations, businesses, communities and individuals, said a recent poll suggested a large majority of respondents expressed concern about the environmental impacts of fishing.

The coalition said it published the survey results to help inform public debate during the Scottish Government’s consultation for highly protected marine areas (HPMAs) in seas around the country.

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But SFF chief executive Elspeth Macdonald said: “Yet again, Our Seas has shown that it prefers misleading people about the state of Scotland’s seas and attacking fishermen and coastal communities to making a meaningful contribution to the discussion about HPMAs”.

She said the “idea that fishermen do not care about the marine environment is disgraceful”.

THE HILLSWICK Shop says it will be reducing its opening hours due to a mix of staff shortages, a drop in income and rising costs.

The community run shop is also looking for new committee members and a staff member.

The new opening hours will start from Monday (17 April) and will see the shop operate between 10am and 6pm Monday to Thursday, 9am to 7pm on Friday, 10am to 5pm on Saturdays and 1pm to 4pm on Sundays.


A NEW report into avian flu in wild birds in Scotland concludes that long-term conservation measures will be the most effective tool against the devastating virus.

The NatureScot report assesses that avian flu will likely continue to be an issue among wild birds into the 2023 nesting season and beyond.

It finds that the most effective solutions will likely be long-term conservation measures for birds which are particularly susceptible, accompanied by enhanced disease surveillance, demographic monitoring, and continued research.

NHS Scotland is using a new text message service to ensure patient waiting lists are up to date and that patients still need their treatment.

Some NHS Shetland patients who are awaiting an outpatient appointment and/or operation may receive a text message from the NHS Scotland National Elective Coordination Unit (NECU) on mobile number 07860 039092 with a link to answer a couple of questions that will allow staff to update records.


To help NHS Shetland patients and to explain who may be contacted, the health board has prepared a Q&A to provide further information and support.

A ‘SHOREWATCH’ training event is being held in Lerwick later this month to give people advice on how best to spot whales and dolphins at sea.

The event is taking place at the Voluntary Action Shetland headquarters on 26 April from 10am to 1pm, followed by a practical session at the Knab til 2pm.

Shorewatch is scheme which encourages people to take time to spot and record whales and dolphins in the seas around their local community to gather data on numbers.

SSE Renewables and SSEN Transmission say they are “looking forward” to taking part in an educational day of science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) activities at the Shetland Museum in Lerwick on 21 June.

The interactive event which has been organised by Scottish Council for Development and Industry will involve local schools taking part a STEM challenge with SSE representatives on hand to provide advice and guidance.


Over the course of the day, pupils will be asked to get involved in a fictional scenario of a tidal turbine installation near the island of Eynhallow.

The pupils will be challenged to come up with solutions to transport electricity generated from the turbine to the mainland in a safe yet efficient manner.

Schools that will take part will be provided with free kits to enable them to build a model which will be tested on the day. The winning team will receive a trophy and £50 to spend on STEM supplies.

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