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Also in the news / Kitchen upgrade, grant for Ability Shetland and Sumburgh passenger numbers

Michelle Johnson representing both Cooke and Mid Yell Hall on the right with Jill Thomson of the hall committee.

THE MID Yell Hall has recently upgraded its kitchen facilities thanks to funding support from Cooke Scotland, the Shetland Community Benefit Fund (SCBF), the local community council and hard work from volunteers.

Salmon firm Cooke Scotland, a significant employer in Yell, donated £8,300 towards the cost of the project through its community benefit fund which exists to support a variety of locally-led events, activities, and community projects throughout the United Kingdom.

Shetland regional manager David Brown said: “At Cooke, we are deeply committed to the communities we call home and take great pride in our work and work hard to generate shared prosperity.

“Public halls offer extensive economic and social benefits to rural communities, and we are pleased to provide a donation through the Cooke Community Benefit Fund to upgrade the facilities at Mid Yell Hall to ensure it continues to provide for people of Yell for years to come.”

A spokesperson for SCBF said the organisation hopes the improved equipment will make a “lasting difference” to all hall users requiring the use of catering facilities.

Hall chairperson Wayne Strachan commented: “We’re really grateful to both Cooke Scotland and the Shetland Community Benefit Fund for the funds they have contributed towards our new kitchen equipment. I’m sure everyone using it will notice the difference when catering for their functions.”

LOCAL charity Ability Shetland has been offered an unrestricted three-year grant of £150,000 from the Bank of Scotland Foundation.

Team leader Stephanie Bain said that having access to unrestricted funding gives the organisation security in the long-term.

“We receive grants from other funders for specific pieces of work, which is great, but it means that we are restricted in what we are able to do with that money,” she said.

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“The fact that this is longer term funding gives us some security for the next three years, and also the opportunity to apply for match funding from other funders for more targeted work.

“We are so chuffed to get through the rigorous three stage process and have been successful with this large grant, it is going to make such a difference to how we deliver our support to disabled people and their families across Shetland”.

Chair of Bank of Scotland Foundation Donald MacKechnie added: “We know from talking to charities that unrestricted funding gives them much greater scope to cover essential costs and deal with challenges quickly and effectively.”

PASSENGER numbers at Sumburgh Airport have risen slightly over the last year.

There were 307,664 passengers going through at the airport in 2023/24, which is up by nearly 3,000 on the previous year.

Across HIAL’s network of 11 airports there was an average 3.5 per cent year on year increase.

HIAL CEO Paul Kelsall said “I’m encouraged that despite the challenging economic climate we have continued to build on the strong passenger figures of 2022/2023, which remain on track for a steady return to pre-pandemic levels.”

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