North Mainland Notes 13.03.09

Splinters charity event

Fresh from three very successful prize-winning performances at the County Drama Festival in the Garrison Theatre, Splinters is holding its annual charity performance event on Sunday at Brae Hall.

The youth group will perform their comedic festival winning entry and the juniors will round off the programme with their festival winning entry – a Shetland dialect piece featuring trows and fairies.

Homebakes will be on sale with a raffle to help raise funds for the chosen charity. Doors open at 1.30pm and the performances begin at 2pm. Tickets will be on sale at the door and cost £4 for adults and £3 for concessions. For further information contact Di Newbold on (01595) 820283.

Congratulations to everyone involved with the Splinters productions, where once again the writer, producers, set designers and casts have shown their dedication, enthusiasm for, and commitment to drama.

Ronas drama at Sullom

Ronas Drama Group is still very much alive and kicking and shows no signs of slowing up, despite preparing to celebrate its 50th anniversary next autumn.

This year the group told A Tale o’ Twa Undertakers, a Scottish comedy, at the drama festival and is now getting ready to perform to an always appreciative local audience at the Sullom Hall on Wednesday 25th March.

The second performance will be from Splinters who have kindly agreed to perform their award-winning Shetland dialect entry in the drama festival, Da Company.

Musical items will also feature on the programme when some of the local young talent takes to the stage during the evening. A raffle will be available and folk can pay at the door to get in. For more information contact Willie Robertson on (01806) 522279.

Northmavine kirk sale

Members of the Northmavine kirks are holding a sale of work in the Ollaberry Hall tomorrow night to help raise money for church funds.

The sale will begin at 7.30pm and the hall will be open from 3pm to receive donations.

500 in Hillswick

The monthly 500 drive takes place in Hillswick on Wednesday night in the Hillswick Hall at 7.30pm.

So, if you don’t know your “right bower” from your “left bower” why not go along and find out what it’s all about?

Interpretation success

Interpretation Nort, the voluntary committee behind the successful summer exhibition in the North Roe and Lochend Hall last summer, is reflecting on the project and looking forward to the coming season.

Last year the exhibition was open from June until September and attracted in the region of 1,500 visitors.

In addition, around 15 local craft producers were able to access a market for their products and visitors were able to get a cup of tea and a toilet stop before or after taking in the sights of Fethaland or Uyea. Interpretation Nort is always happy to welcome new members to the committee and anyone interested should contact Christyne Dunk or Davy Cooper.

Hillswick shop update

Following on from the encouraging response to a community survey in Hillswick and Eshaness to gauge whether folk were interested in purchasing the Hillswick shop as a community asset, the Northmavine Community Development Company (NCDC) is continuing the bid to access funding for the project.

A number of avenues have been identified as possible areas of funding for the purchase and refurbishment of the premises. A business plan has been compiled and NCDC is currently developing a feasibility study to look specifically at the options for the development and the viability of the project. It is hoped that the study will be completed by mid-March and the findings will be passed on to potential funders.

Depending on whether further information will be required, NCDC hopes a decision on initial funding will be available by mid-April. A meeting will then be organised in Hillswick to discuss progress with the folk of Hillswick and Eshaness.

If anyone would like further information on the proposal, please contact the NCDC office on (01806) 544222.

The future at NCDC

A visitor to my office at NCDC, where I work as a project officer, saw the reams of paper on my desk and commented that I was doing “piling” instead of “filing”.

That, and talking to myself, are definite signs that the funding ran out for our admin support officer towards the end of last year. This also often means that the telephone goes unanswered if I am out at meetings or on visits, so I would ask people to leave a message or contact the mobile number given on the answering machine.

The Initiative at the Edge designation will end for Northmavine on 31st March. NCDC spent a great deal of time last year looking at options for the future and compiling a five-year business plan to set out the aims of the community-led company. Income generation is key to the plan, through three main priority areas of small-scale renewables, social enterprise and housing.

While grant funding for core costs is both welcome and essential to community development companies while they find their feet, much time is spent securing or accounting for funding instead of being able to carry out the objectives of the community.

Dependence on grant funded core costs also brings job insecurity, a loss of valuable and essential workers and, in my case, “piling”, when the grant money runs out.

The overall financial aim of NCDC is to taper the amount of grant funding required over the next five years and generate an increasing amount of income from projects.

Projections for the next financial year indicate that 22 per cent of core costs will be generated by income generation.

The company currently awaits the results of grant applications for the remaining 78 per cent and is hopeful that a successful outcome will allow the project officer to carry on the work in the community and ensure that a part-time admin support officer can be employed in Northmavine to provide essential support.

NCDC hopes to know the outcome of the funding package by the end of March and the recruitment process for admin staff can be completed …

Perhaps then we’ll be back to filing and I won’t be having as many conversations with myself.

Maree Hay


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