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Toft pier opens following multi-million pound upgrade

May 17, 2021 | 4.08pm

The new £3.5m pier at Toft is now open, providing an important new facility for aquaculture and commercial fishing industries in the North Mainland.

Vessels can berth on the pier from today, Monday 17th May. 

The new pier has been built on the site of the previous jetty, built as a ferry terminal in the 1970s,which had reached the end of its serviceable life. It was closed 2016.  Shetland Islands Council agreed to the pier’s rebuild in 2019, to support economic opportunities in the area, including fishing and renewable energy projects.

The new pier is around three times larger than the previous one, with a working area of around 1100 square metres and includes shore power and lighting.

The pier design also features a 30-metre ‘dog-leg’ extension that will provide more berthing space for boats and better shelter in poor weather, as well as increased water depth on both the inside and outside of the pier. 

Andrea Manson, chairwoman of the council’s Harbour Board, said: “This is tremendous news. There have been calls for a replacement pier since the new ferry terminal was built at Toft in 2004.  I’m delighted that the Council has been able to fund and oversee the construction of this new pier, which will be a huge benefit to the local shellfish industry in particular.

“Maritime and coastal industries are so important to our community and they are well supported by the Council’s management of several ports and harbours around Shetland.” 

Alastair Cooper, chairman of the council’s development committee, added: “This new pier will be a real asset to the local area and is an important investment by the council in the local aquaculture and renewables sector.

“Toft pier is a strategically important site for shellfish landings and has potential to support tidal energy projects too.  I’m confident that this pier will help to create and sustain a diversified economy in the North Mainland.”

A full report will appear in this week’s Shetland Times, out Friday, 21st May.

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Friendlies kick-off senior football season

May 17, 2021 | 3.47pm

The senior football season will get underway this week, with a round of friendlies being played tonight (Monday, 17th May).

Competitive action will resume on Friday, when the Manson Cup quarter-finals are contested.

And the A league will finally get back up and running on Monday, 24th May after an extended hiatus.

The B league also kicks off on Wednesday night.

Tonight’s friendly fixtures (all 6.30pm kick-off): Whitedale vs Scalloway at Strom, Thistle vs Ness at Gilbertson Park; Delting vs Spurs at Brae, Celtic v Whalsay at Seafield.

A larger reserve league gets underway on Wednesday with Bressay Sharks hosting Banks, Delting B facing Whitedale B in Brae and Scalloway B playing Spurs B in Hamnavoe.

On Friday night, Whalsay play Scalloway in Whalsay, Delting meet Thistle in Brae and Spurs play Ness at Seafield for a place in the Manson Cup semi-finals.

The other tie sees Whitedale play Celtic at Strom.

All matches are due to kick-off at 6.30pm.

Indoor pints return as isles enter level one

May 17, 2021 | 1.45pm

Pubs across the isles opened their doors today for the first time since the end of December as Shetland entered level one of Covid restrictions.

The isles have been in level three since 26th December 2020, but were moved down to level one after a sustained period without a case and with the vaccination programme succeeding.

From today, eight people from three households can now meet indoors in a public place such as a cafe, pub or restaurant.

Pubs are allowed to stay open until 11pm, with table service still mandatory.

And six people from three households can meet at home.

No physical distancing is required in the home either, paving the way for the return of hugging.

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Petition aiming to bring singer-songwriter up for Tall Ships nears target

May 17, 2021 | 11.18am

A petition to bring Scottish singer-songwriter Gerry Cinnamon to Shetland for the 2023 Tall Ships Races is nearing its 500 signature target.

Started by Kyle Drummond last Thursday, the petition has already been signed more than 450 times.

It will be forwarded to both the Shetland Islands Council’s events team, and the organising group for Lerwick’s hosting of the tall ships if it reaches its target.

Writing on Facebook, Mr Drummond said it would be “amazing” if they were able to bring the Scottish star behind hits such as Where We’re Going, Sun Queen and Canter to the isles.

Known for his energetic live performances, Cinnamon has risen to prominence mainly through word-of-mouth and social media having never been signed to a major recording label.

His second major album, The Bonny, topped the UK album chart last year, and he was due to headline Hampden Park in a sold-out show before the Covid pandemic hit.

The petition is available here: www.change.org/GerryLerwick

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Consultation planned over controversial Co-op proposals

May 17, 2021 | 10.51am

People can share their views on controversial plans to open new Co-ops in Scalloway and Sandwick.

Over 2,500 households and businesses are being contacted over the £2.4 million proposals.

It comes after the supermarket giant announced plans to expand its network of stores.

Many have voiced opposition amid fears local jobs and suppliers could be harmed.

Others have welcomed the prospect of having supermarkets closer to home.

The Co-op says it currently stocks over 130 Shetland product lines.

Consultation is being carried out by Seamount Property Development.

Director Alastair Ness said: “As a developer we believe in the importance of providing the community with an opportunity to view, and importantly provide
feedback on our proposals.

“As well as writing to local residents, and noting the current situation with Covid, we have also created a dedicated consultation page to ensure that there are various ways in which people can provide comment to us.

Norwegian flag flies from town hall to mark Constitution Day

May 17, 2021 | 10.03am

The Norwegian flag is flying from Lerwick Town Hall today to mark the nation’s Constitution Day – and its shared history with Shetland.

The day is a national holiday in Norway with parades and celebrations to commemorate the signing of the national constitution on 17th May, 1814.

Previously part of the Norwegian kingdom, Shetland has a rich history of cultural ties with the Scandinavian nation.

In the Second World War, Shetland was used as bases for covert operations against the Nazis.

Lerwick is also twinned with Måløy, an important fishing port.

Shetland Islands Council convener Malcolm Bell said: “Shetland and Norway share many historical links that are evident throughout our islands and which have shaped our identity as a community.

“We still feel a close affinity with Norway and on behalf of the people of Shetland I’d like to wish our friends and neighbours across the North Sea a happy Constitution Day.”

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Mareel given almost £40k as part of boost to independent cinemas

May 17, 2021 | 9.17am

The Mareel cinema in Lerwick has been handed almost £40,000 as part of a Screen Scotland fund designed to help independent cinemas.

Twenty-nine cinemas in Scotland earned a share of the £1.98 million Independent Cinema Recovery and Resilience Fund.

Mareel was given £39,820, while Kirkwall’s Phoenix Cinema also received £15,420.

The Lerwick cinema is due to re-open this Friday, 21st May, and Shetland Arts chief executive Graeme Howell said they were “excited” to be able to welcome audiences back.

“The support we have received from Screen Scotland has been a significant in ensuring that we remain a viable organisation and are able to bring a great opening weekend back to Shetland.”

Screen Scotland’s head of audience development Sambrooke Scott said the Covid crisis was one of the most significant challenges cinemas had faced.

Mareel programmer Jenny Leask spoke last week about what cinema audiences could look forward to seeing when they are back in their seats.

Lerwick police respond to teacher conviction

May 16, 2021 | 12.52pm

Lerwick police has issued a statement following the conviction at Aberdeen Sheriff Court of Kieran Malcolmson on two charges while employed as a secondary school teacher.

The 35-year-old, of Sandwick, Shetland, was convicted on Friday, 14th May, of engaging in sexual activity other than sexual intercourse against two secondary school aged girls in 2009 and 2018.

Detective Sergeant Bruce Peebles from Lerwick CID said: “There is no doubt that Malcolmson manipulated his position as a teacher to target senior female pupils, in situations which were wholly unprofessional for any school teacher.

“I commend the bravery and honesty of the young women who came forward during the enquiry and reported what had occurred.

“Malcolmson’s conviction sends out a clear message that all crimes of a sexual nature, no matter when they occurred, will be robustly investigated by Police Scotland and where a sufficiency of evidence exists, crimes will be reported for consideration of prosecution in court.

“I would take this opportunity to encourage anyone who has been a victim of sexual crimes in the past to report this to the police. Your report will be treated sensitively, we will listen, and crimes will be investigated thoroughly.”

Malcolmson will be sentenced next month.

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Lerwick lifeboat in line for upgrade

May 16, 2021 | 11.14am

Lerwick lifeboat station will be one of the first five across the UK that will see an overhaul of its Severn class lifeboats so they can continue saving lives at sea for another 25 years.

The Severn, the largest and most powerful class of lifeboat, entered service in 1996 with an operational lifespan of 25 years; and now the 44 vessels in operation are approaching retirement age and are due to come off service.

However, the charity’s expert in-house engineering team, working in partnership with academic and industry experts, has established that the lifeboats’ hulls can continue operational service for another 25 years via a life extension upgrade.

Additionally the Severn’s wheelhouse will be redesigned and a wide range of upgrades and extra safety features added, ensuring the vessels can operate safely and effectively for another 25 years.

The first Severn class lifeboat undergoing its life extension upgrade. Photo: RNLI/Nick Cary

Nick Fenwick, project manager for the RNLI’s Severn life extension programme, said: “From shock-mitigating seats for the crew, to new survivor space seating for casualties and a new daughter craft that can be launched quickly for rescuing casualties in shallow waters or close to rocks, the life extension upgrades will ensure our Severn class lifeboats are ready to save lives at sea for another 25 years.

“The upgrades will bring the technology and systems onboard the Severn class lifeboats right up to date. A key upgrade will be the installation of the Systems and Information Management System, also known as SIMS.”

The average anticipated cost of each life extension upgrade is £1.25 million, significantly less than the cost of designing and building a brand-new class of lifeboat to replace the Severn.

Angus Watson, engineering and supply director, added: “I am so excited to announce our plans to extend the operational life of our Severn class lifeboats.

“Our Severns are often located in the more remote locations across the UK and Ireland, where the crews are often required to sail out longer distances in the most challenging sea conditions.”

Work is already underway on the first vessel to receive its life extension upgrade with all work on the initial seven vessels from five stations taking place at the RNLI’s all-weather Lifeboat Centre in Poole, Dorset.

Shop’s welcome return to Lerwick town centre

May 15, 2021 | 12.01pm

The all new Outdoor Trek store opened today, Saturday, 15th May, in its new location in Lerwick’s Commercial Street.

The new shop takes over the former Halcrow store at 99 Commercial Street and was an opportunity owner Fraser Thompson could not turn down.

Mr Thompson said of the new location: “It’s a good piece longer, a good piece wider it’s far better for display. We have had to take in a lot more stock just to fill it.”

The extra space also allows the store to be more accessible to wheelchair users and parents with prams and pushchairs looking to outfit the bairns for some exciting outdoor adventures.

To read more on this story and an extended interview with Mr Thompson check out the latest edition of The Shetland Times, out now.

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Former Shetland teacher found guilty of sex offences

May 15, 2021 | 11.39am

A jury has found a former Shetland school teacher guilty of engaging in sexual activity with two pupils.

Kieran Malcolmson, 35, was found guilty of being in a position of trust as a schoolteacher and engaging in sexual activity other than sexual intercourse with or directed towards a pupil in 2009.

He was also convicted of engaging in sexual activity with or directed towards another pupil at a school in 2018.

The teacher, of Sandwick, is said to have kissed the girl, aged under 18, and to have “repeatedly asked her to come to a dark and secluded area”.

The case was heard in Aberdeen and Malcolmson will be sentenced in June.

A full report will appear in next week’s Shetland Times.

Sneak peek at Shetland Film Archive’s latest project

May 10, 2021 | 9.57am

Never before seen footage of Shetland life in the 1950s and 60s will be premiered this week, after undergoing a specialised digitisation process.

Shetland Film Archive (SFA) will present the free, online event showcasing ‘Shetland On Film’  archive clips this Thursday, 13th May.

The duo of unique films focus on two of the isle’s most important industries – tourism and fishing.

The fishing archives, filmed by James Thomason and donated by Janie Thomason, focus on the herring boom of the1950s and will be introduced by Laurie Pottinger, local writer and tourist guide, who will provide context of the industry right up to the present day.

Isobel Irvine will introduce the second presentation; a collection of films produced by her father Derek and uncle John, a teacher based in Edinburgh, who would take groups of school children to the isles for summer holidays.

The footage includes walks down a thriving Commercial Street and going for a dip in Scalloway’s open air pool. The collection also includes footage of the Queen and Prince Philip visiting Shetland in 1960.

SFA chairman Greg McCarron, said: “This is from a reel that recently came into our collection that we thought it would be worth showcasing this material in a special event.

“We thought that by promoting a live premier we are hoping people are all going to watch it at the same time, and maybe put comments underneath and spark those conversations and discussions which you get in a live screening.”

“Shetland on Film” will be premiered on the Shetland Film Archive Facebook page and YouTube channel at 7pm on Thursday, 13th May, and will be available for two weeks.

It is supported by Film Hub Scotland, part of the BFI’s Film Audience Network, and funded by Screen Scotland and Lottery funding from the BFI.

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Dolphin makes a splash

May 7, 2021 | 7.45pm

Making a splash off Breiwick in Lerwick was this dolphin, who performed for the cameras yesterday.

This fantastic video was taken by eagle-eyed Sara Leith.

Shetland Islands Council announce road closure

April 20, 2021 | 2.44pm

A collapsed drain will cause minor traffic delays over the next couple of days as repairs are made, commuters are being warned.

From tomorrow morning, Wednesday 21st April, the A971 Walls to Bridge of Walls Road will be closed from 8am.

The closure will commence approximately 200 metres north east from its junction with the Pinehoulland Road proceeding in a north easterly direction for a distance of around 25m.

An alternative route to the A971 west of Bridge of Walls would be via Brunatwatt Road.

Easter colouring competition winners announced

April 16, 2021 | 12.15pm

Four young artists have scooped a sweet treat for their designs in The Shetland Times’ Easter colouring competition.

The winners were: Robin Gifford, 5, from Lerwick; Erin Henry, 7, from Brae; Ava Smith, 11, from North Nesting; and Emily Watt, 11, from Lerwick.

All four have won a chocolate Easter Egg for their talents.

 

Scenes today in Lerwick

April 12, 2021 | 9.28am

The cast and crew of TV drama ‘Shetland’ looks to have brought a little spring weather with them as they film scenes in Lerwick today.

Roads running off King Erik Street are the backdrop to the  filming and will see roads closed and parking difficult in that area.

 

Action was being called at Lerwick Police Station at around 9am this morning.

Filming is expected to take place until around noon today, Monday, April 12th.

Road closures due to Shetland filming

April 11, 2021 | 3.45pm

Residents planning to travel through Lerwick on Monday, 12th April are being reminded of road closures due to the filming of TV drama ‘Shetland’.

Roads around the King Erik Street will be closed between 7am and 12pm as scenes are being filmed.

Parking restrictions and some short delays can be expected.


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