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Also in the news / Art in a bus, land fund grant, family visa concern, funding opportunity and more…

An art bus decorated with black and white illustrations, parked beside a seaside road under a clear blue sky.

A TRAVELLING art gallery in a bus is set to visit Shetland later this month.

The Travelling Gallery project encourages art to reach communities across Scotland.

The current exhibition is called A Bonnie Way: Unravelling the Seduction of the Countryside, and it presents the work of artists Bobbi Cameron, Ufuoma Essie and Sarah Rose as they explore their experiences of life and conversations in rural and semi-rural places.

The bus will visit:

  • Wednesday 17 April – Anderson High School
  • Thursday 18 April – Mid Yell Junior High
  • Friday 19 April – Brae
  • Saturday 20 April – Mareel, 10am – 4pm (unticketed and free)

NORTH Yell Development Council (NYDC) has been granted £99,000 from the Scottish Land Fund to buy two units at the Sellafirth Business Park.

The group will use the premises to provide a multi-use office, heritage, events and training space which will be used by local agencies, individuals and community groups.

NYDC chair Mark Lawson said: “Opportunities to purchase premises within North Yell do not come up often.

“We are therefore absolutely thrilled to have secured funds to bring this currently underutilised asset at Sellafirth into community ownership.

“This will allow us to continue to look forward with ambitious plans to grow both our economy and our community, to ensure North Yell remains an amazing place to live, work, visit and invest.”

The land fund programme is funded by the Scottish Government and delivered in partnership by the National Lottery Community Fund and Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE).

NORTHERN Isles MP Alistair Carmichael has backed concerns raised by a cross-party House of Lords committee over plans to increase the income required for UK citizens to bring a partner to the UK.

The changes raise the Minimum Income Requirement for such family visas from £18,600 to £29,000, as part of a plan to increase it to £38,700 by early 2025.

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The Home Office argues that this will ensure that families with migrants are self-sufficient, but Carmichael said such migrants are already unable to access government benefits.

Carmichael said: “In the isles we all know someone who is an immigrant to the UK, or who is married to one. We all know them in our local businesses, our health service and far more besides. They are valued members of our community.

“Over the years I have helped hundreds of constituents with immigration issues. It is one of the most rewarding parts of the job because you can see the direct benefit going to families who are putting down roots right here.”

HIGHLANDS and Islands MSP Emma Roddick has highlighted a new government funding opportunity voluntary services working in family mental health could benefit from.

The Perinatal and Infant Mental Health Fund will be open for 18 months from October and is designed to support charities to expand and enhance their mental health and wellbeing services.

The SNP politician, who is also the Scottish minister for equalities, migration and refugees, said: “Organisations such as Mind Your Head Shetland provide vital support to families with young children, particularly during the beginning when new parents are finding their feet.

“I would encourage all organisations in Shetland who support pregnant women and young families to check their eligibility for the fund, and I know their services – many of which wouldn’t be possible without Scottish Government support – will be invaluable to new parents.”

More information about the funding can be found here.

BP has been given an improvement notice from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) relating to the Clair Ridge oil platform west of Shetland.

It said the company “failed to take suitable and sufficient measures to prevent, so far as is reasonably practicable, the need for your employees and others, to undertake hazardous manual handling of chemical sacks liable to cause personal injury, during mud mixing operations, while working within the drilling package of the Clair Ridge installation”.

BP said it is committed to complying with the notice as a priority.

SCOTLAND’s development agency for the Highlands and Islands has been awarded silver accreditation for its progress in becoming a carbon literate organisation.

Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) received the accreditation from the Carbon Literacy Project, which promotes increased understanding of the carbon costs and impacts of daily activities and how individuals, communities and organisations can reduce these.

The project has recognised HIE’s work to train colleagues in carbon literacy, including board members and directors.

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