Maunsie mascot gets £954 grant

A custom-made mascot for Lerwick’s town centre has received a grant worth £954.

Maunsie the Market Cross is a character designed by artist Stephen Gordon in 2018 as part of a public competition to find a mascot, and has been used to promote events such as shopping week.

Living Lerwick had asked the town’s community council for a £954 grant to go towards the £1954 cost of the mascot, with the rest coming from Business Improvement District (BID) levy funding.

Project manager Emma Miller submitted the grant application to Lerwick Community Council, which was approved at its meeting last night (Monday).

Ms Miller was unable to attend the meeting but Living Lerwick member Caroline Carroll said she had been “very keen to be here”, adding that Ms Miller had done the research and been “very thorough” when it came to costing the project.

“A full size Maunsie would be used as a figurehead for public events in the town centre and would assist with attracting footfall as the town recovers and restarts from the Coronavirus crisis,” Ms Miller wrote in the grant application.

Stephen Gordon’s Maunsie da Market Cross.

There are plans for a specialist company to make the costume, which would be used “to attract smaller numbers to particular areas as part of a trail”, promote the town centre in other areas such as country shows when they restart and be used for events lined up for the October holidays.

Maunsie could also be used at any Christmas events, according to the application.

Kirkwall BID already has its own full-size mascot in the shape of Harry the Heart, who was front and centre of a campaign launched recently to encourage people to support businesses in Orkney.


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