Living Lerwick pursuing ‘big ideas’ despite committee members stepping down

Living Lerwick, the group set up to revitalise the historic town centre, has made new appointments to its committee after several members stood down.

But the group  is still pushing forward with some “big ideas”, according to the organisation’s manager Christena Irvine.

After the first year in operation, the group’s first chairman Harry Jamieson decided not to stand for re-election, as did vice-chairman Steve Mathieson of VisitScotland, who moved to become events director.

The new chairwoman is Boots manager Eleanor Eunson and the vice-chairwoman is Cynthia Adamson, of M & Co.

Other members who recently stood down were Ingrid Webb, who said she wanted to concentrate on her work for Cope, Inga Scott and John Watt.

Harry Jamieson has stepped down as Living Lerwick chairman.
Harry Jamieson has stepped down as Living Lerwick chairman.

Mr Jamieson told The Shetland Times it had always been his intention to only hold the post for a year.

The committee now comprises Gemma Jamieson of Specsavers, Hazel Wiggins of Lodberrie Deli and Sweet Memories, Peter Lennon of the Queens and Grand Hotels, Ben Mullay of the Camera Centre, Emma Gibson of the Peerie Shop and Cafe and Ken Rae of J.G. Rae.

Living Lerwick is the company set up by the Business Improvement District (BID), in which town centre businesses pay a levy and are enabled to access funding to improve and restore confidence to the area.

BID manager Christena Irvine said the time commitment involved meant that some former directors did not want to continue into year two of Living Lerwick’s five-year programme, although the initiative was going well.

Ms Irvine said: “We have built a good platform to develop from and [plans for] the Winter Festival are in full swing. We have got some big ideas but are awaiting confirmation for them.”

Last year’s Winter Festival, Living Lerwick’s first, was deemed a huge success with Commercial Street packed for its launch – people likened it to Up-Helly-A’. The Jarl’s Squad, Lerwick Brass Band and Santa presided over the switching on of the Christmas lights and shopkeepers reported a roaring trade.

This year, said Ms Irvine, it is hoped it will be even bigger and better – and the chestnut stalls for Harrison Square, plus mulled wine, promised last year, will definitely materialise.

She said, Living Lerwick was looking for groups to perform in the opening parade on 23rd November – these could be singers, dancers, musicians and people in fancy dress, preferably with a Christmas theme.


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