Promote Shetland staff being made redundant

Promote Shetland staff working through Shetland Amenity Trust are being made redundant, after Shetland Islands Council has decided it will not award the Promote Shetland contract to any outside body.

Shetland Amenity Trust has held the contract for the last eight years and says it is “absolutely confident that its Promote Shetland team has done everything it was asked for and more – it has raised the profile of Shetland globally and helped to attract people to live in Shetland, to invest and visit”.

Projects managed by the Promote Shetland team within Shetland Amenity Trust, include:

• The website

• Live streaming Up Helly Aa and other Shetland events

• 60 North magazine

• Shetland Wool Week

The trust said it has budgeted carefully and successfully, and raised extra funding to cover specific projects and meeting all required deadlines.

It said in a statement this morning: “The Shetland Islands Council decision means that a redundancy process for our valued Promote Shetland staff is necessary and sadly underway.

“Trustees are deeply disappointed by this decision which will undoubtedly undermine Shetland’s efforts to promote our islands as a desirable place to live, invest, work
and visit. It will seriously damage tourism and other industries.”

The SIC has sent out letters this week to those interested in the Promote Shetland contract.

It stated that a decision had been made not to award a contract for the service as evaluation of tenders meant that no tender achieved a sufficient score for the quality of submission.

• More in Friday’s Shetland Times.


Add Your Comment
  • Johan Adamson

    • June 7th, 2017 10:33

    No one was good enough? Strange decision leaving us with no service? What a shame.

  • Alan Skinner

    • June 7th, 2017 11:12

    Who is responsible for this asinine decision? Anyone involved in the tourism sector will tell you that Promote Shetland have done an absolutely outstanding job, and far exceeded expectations.

  • paul barlow

    • June 7th, 2017 11:18

    well that is a good start to the new council. more total rubbish. please reverse this dumb move. a tourist destination dumping its promoting team really dumb.

  • Andy Ross

    • June 7th, 2017 11:31

    Dear sir,
    I am very disappointed by this decision.

    Promote Shetland has been instrumental in supporting Wool Week over the past few years and we in the outer isles have benefitted through the growth of tourism and visitor numbers. The organisation has supported tourism including our own textile tours, and we have had visitors who have pointed out how helpful Promote Shetland has been in helping them to find out about tours in the islands.

    While I understand that applications have to be measured against specifics and that this particular application may have fallen short of measurable targets, it seems to me that we need a body to fight our corner. We need to compete on a global marketplace and to leave the isles without any form of representation in that marketplace is short-sighted and mean-spirited. I would like to know what the contingency is for making Shetland a destination and for supporting the marketing of the isles.

    I am sorry to hear the news and would like to offer my help and support to the affected members of staff, and a thank you for the work they have done.
    Andy Ross
    GlobalYell Ltd, Yell

    • Jackie Kirkham

      • June 9th, 2017 8:39

      I agree with you Andy. This was a shocking decision. Promote Shetland have always done a fantastic job in promoting your beautiful isles and have been a major factor in encouraging me to visit, learn about the history, people and industries of Shetland. I will miss receiving the wonderful 60 North magazine and all its great articles.

      I wish all the Promote Shetland team well whatever the future holds for you all. Thank you for all you have done.

      Jackie Kirkham, Brinscall, Lancashire

  • gary dyker kaye van der herr

    • June 7th, 2017 11:52

    all are goodenough for that job just to much chiefs nea enough Indians hope they get something better soon as they where good for population of Shetland and torists

  • Michael Garriock

    • June 7th, 2017 12:03

    Whatever else is in play here, it is good, whether it be by accident or intent, to see the SIC taking a least one step in distancing and dis-associating itself from an organisation receiving funding from the SCT, and thereby by default distancing and dis-associating the SIC from the SCT itself, as long as they persist with their current wholly unacceptable method of governance.

  • Amy Detjen

    • June 7th, 2017 12:56

    I am very saddened by this news! I lead small knitting tours to Shetland once or twice a year. The work done by the Promote Shetland staff has made your lovely Islands a very desirable destination. I cannot think of one thing that they could have done better! They have shown the beauty and variety of the island landscapes and seascapes, and have shared the wonders of traditions like Wool Week and Up Helly Aa!

    For knitters, Shetland Wool Week is considered the Mecca of events for wool lovers! This was accomplished, quite simply, through the work of promote Shetland.

    I sincerely hope that the Shetland Council receives enough feedback from Shetlanders, and worldwide tourists as well, to reconsider this ill-advised decision.

    Thank you for the opportunity to express my concerns.

  • Michael Garriock

    • June 7th, 2017 15:30

    Oh dear, humans can be so fickle sometimes…..

    I very clearly remember a not insignificant outcry when the concept of “Promote Shetland” was first mooted of ‘stupid waste of money’, ‘daft to duplicate/compete with what Visit Scotland do’, ‘far more pressing things the money could be spent on’ etc.

    Yet now when the plug is pulled, there’s a similar outcry about that too. One could almost say that it is perhaps not what is being changed that is being objected to, but change itself that is.

    That said, did Promote Shetland do a good job so far, was it VFM, I couldn’t say, not a field I have any interest in. However, whether this is the end of it, or whether it is to be run by someone else, and will they run it as well, better? Maybe we’d best just wait and see.

    What is indisputable though, is our tax dollars are paying for Visit Scotland regardless, and maybe its greater pressure put on them to do a better job, rather than paying hundreds of thousands to have our own duplicate thats the most sensible way forward.

  • Paul Bloomer

    • June 7th, 2017 16:08

    This is a short sited decision. Promote shetland have done a superb job at raising the profile of Shetland to a global audience. Wool week alone has grown into an international event with hundreds of people from all over the world coming to the isles . Rethink this decision and why kill something that is functioning on a very high level.

  • Neil Forsyth

    • June 7th, 2017 21:21

    Living in Stamford, Lincolnshire, an avid followers of all things Shetland, including the Webcams run by the Shetland Amenity Trust, I, too, am VERY DISAPPOINTED to learn the news & fate of such a Hard Working Promote Shetland Team, & do sincerely hope the decision can, please be reversed before it is too late.
    Will Everyone possible, PLEASE sign the petition my Brother, Gradon, has set up to try & reverse this decision, which is obviously also going to affect the lives of Shetland Residents, Traders, & potential Visitors alike.….
    For my part I am a subscriber of The Shetland Times & other publications & regular listener to Shetland local radio stations, & completely as a labour of Love, have made & gifted world-widely a Shetland Webcam Collage 2017-18 Calendar. I currently have health issues preventing me from carrying out another re-reprint, but as soon as I am able, I am happy, within the bounds of my private finances, to send to anyone interested in trying to promote this Wonderful group of Islands. Thanking you very much, in anticipation,

  • Brigitte Otto

    • June 8th, 2017 19:31

    Without Promote Shetland I wouldn’t have come to Shetland at all and I’m returning because of activities they provide. I think it’s a loss for all sides to give up promoting Shetland and I’m very sorry for this decision.

  • P ashton

    • June 8th, 2017 23:17

    What about the Bods?

  • Veronica Edward-Smith

    • June 10th, 2017 14:45

    I travel widely within the UK, and it seems to me that Promote Shetland do an extraordinarily exceptional job compared to other local Tourist Boards. It is very hard to create something of excellence, why destroy it or try to reproduce it once you have achieved it? This is a bad decision which should be re-visited. The fact that so many people outside Shetland have reacted with horror to this should be telling.

    Veronica Edward-Smith, Northumberland.

  • Amy Armstrong

    • June 10th, 2017 21:58

    I am saddened to hear that Promote Shetland will be disbanded. I understand that I do not know all the details concerning this decision but as one from faraway, I have appreciated their hard work.
    I am currently looking forward to my second visit to Shetland from the states. I’m traveling with 8 people for Shetland wool week. (Every knitter I know wants to come to wool week someday) We follow the blogs, instagram, radio, the webcam and read the magazine – all from your fair islands. This is because of the work Promote Shetland does. I realize that I can still visit but the staff has done an excellent job of keeping us informed and interested.
    I hope this decision can be reversed.

  • Haydn Gear

    • June 10th, 2017 23:00

    Don’t promote Shetland ——–Bad and short sighted. Promote Shetland —- good and wisely far sighted. There is no discussion into which I shall be drawn except to say that once a downward spiral has begun it’s difficult if not impossible to reverse the procedure.

  • Deanna Maze

    • June 11th, 2017 21:14

    As an avid lover of all things Shetland, a 60 North magazine fan, and a daily watcher of the incredibly well kept webcams, I can confidently say that I would never have even heard of your isles without Promote Shetland. I have sparked interest in Shetland in many of my friends, introduced them to its fascinating culture, and held Shetland themed events here in my little corner of Ohio. Shutting down Promote Shetland is, in my opinion, a very poor idea, and one that will take Shetland backwards. Taking this step will be the beginning of an undoing.

  • Suzy Jolly

    • June 12th, 2017 12:06

    I thought Promote Shetland was a ‘brand’ owned by the SIC. Where does it say that Promote Shetland won’t exist any more? The contract to SAT has gone, not Promote Shetland.


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