More cash for Tingwall glasshouse project

The environmental group which wants to bring the Tingwall glasshouse back into use has been granted £9,000 towards a feasibility study.

The group, which has been meeting since 2010, wants to explore the possibility of turning the glasshouse into a community growing venture. They will now invite consultants to tender for the work.

Transition Shetland wants to assess the structural condition of the building and the level of community interest in using it. It was erected in the late 1980s but has stood empty for around a decade.

If the study recommends it, a business plan will be drawn up to refurbish the glasshouse as a space for individuals and groups to grow food. The building could also be used for educational and therapeutic purposes.

Transition Shetland chairman Pete Bevington said: “We hope that very soon we will be able to appoint a consultant who can find out if this dream of having a flourishing green space under glass at Tingwall can be realised.

“So many people have told us they would love to see this marvellous community asset brought back to life, so we do hope that folk come forward to support making this a reality.”

Transition Shetland was awarded the money from the European Leader Fund. This was agreed by the Shetland Leader local action group on Thursday, and follows an award of £10,000 from the National Lottery’s Awards for All fund towards the study.


Add Your Comment
  • ivan coghill

    • May 11th, 2013 13:30

    They will “invite consultants” and “appoint a consultant” to see if they can plant stuff in a greenhouse? Only in Shetland, only in Shetland …

  • larry niven

    • May 11th, 2013 19:04

    look on the bright side ivan , its only a garden shed so when it doesnt get built it will cost less to not build than a school or bridge or faeroe ferry link etc so in shetland economics this is in fact an economic saving

  • Christopher Johnston

    • May 11th, 2013 19:59

    @ ivan coghill
    Sir, I agree 100%. 9000 available, and with it they will retain a consultant? Why not begin refurbishing it with the 9000? The task of determining what must first be done might take a trained eye 5 minutes.
    This reminds me of what Thomas Cranmer wrote in 1549 in the Introduction to the first English Book of Common Prayer, “there was more business to find out what should be read, than to read it when it was found out.”

  • stephen shirmer

    • May 13th, 2013 11:33

    I have spent the last 5 years working on horticultural projects involving people with learning disabilities and unemployed people, 70 + in total.

    This has all been done with voluntary workers and paid staff, we obtained unused poly-tunnel frames, stuck them in the ground covered them in plastic, dug the soil over and planted the vegetables, which we then sold on at local markets.

    We did not need a consultant for £9000 , what for-tell me ?
    It a a question of growing the plants and finding the markets which can be done with a few flyers, public adverts or the internet or grow the food to feed yourself.

    You can buy a lot of seeds & vegetables for £9000, and as for the greenhouse, as long as it is not going to fall down -why on earth waste good money on another consultant.

    Shetland has a history of consultants and look where that’s got you !

  • Malachy Tallack (reporter)

    • May 13th, 2013 16:45

    My understanding is that a feasibility study is required because Transition Shetland do not currently own the glasshouse, so would require considerable further funding to purchase or rent the building and to make the project work. This funding could not be obtained without a feasibility study / business plan being completed.

  • Christopher Johnston

    • May 13th, 2013 20:30

    Malachy, I understand that Tingwall and Girlsta Development Association own an interest in the property.
    Why must Transition Shetland own or rent the facility? Cannot a reasonable agreement be made with the present owners and utilise available financial resources for restoration?
    A consultant is a person who is paid to look at your watch and tell you what is the time.


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