Members of Shetland Amenity Trust have welcomed a decision by the SIC to maintain steady funding for promotion of the isles – a role currently done by Promote Shetland.
A behind closed doors meeting was held by councillors last month debating how promotion of Shetland should operate in the future.
The Promote Shetland organisation operates under the amenity trust, promoting the isles as a place to live, work and visit.
However, the council’s £394,000 a year funding of Promote Shetland is set to terminate on 31st March next year. The amenity trust will have to re-tender for the contract which will also be open to any other interested parties.
Councillors last month were tasked with determining the most cost effective way to progress the service, with the recommended option being a five-year contract costing £1.33 million.
This option would have meant savings of £640,000 over the five years.
However, councillors rejected this and opted in favour of continuing to supply the same funding for the promotion of Shetland.
Shetland Amenity Trust general manager Jimmy Moncrieff had to leave the chamber, along with members of the press when councillors debated the issue.
According to SIC political leader Gary Robinson councillors opted against the savings because of “the uncertainty around Brexit” with the members deciding that “now was not the time to be making drastic changes.”
In a report to amenity trust members this week Mr Moncrieff welcomed the council’s decision to overturn the recommendation.
Mr Moncrieff said if the recommendation had gone through “it basically would have done away” with Andy Steven’s role as manager of the service.
Amenity trust chairman Brian Gregson said: “I think we can add our thanks to yours” and highlighted the hard work of Mr Steven and his team and the amount of work they did.
Meanwhile, brand Promote Shetland marketing executive Misa Hay provided an update on this year’s Shetland Wool Week, which starts next weekend.
She said this year would be the biggest Wool Week yet, with 400 knitters coming to Shetland and £76,000 in ticket sales.
Membership sales stood at about 300, which was “a huge increase”, she said and the Shetland Wool Week Annual was being snapped up.
Some 2,600 copies had sold in pre-orders so far, priced at £14 each, including work from isles designers.