Trust hopes cultural retreats at Brough Lodge could sustain traditions and create new jobs

A charity is hoping to host “retreats” at a 19th century gothic mansion in Feltar where visitors can learn about Shetland culture, including textiles and music.

The Brough Lodge Trust has announced plans to create high quality accommodation within the category A listed building, which has been disused since the 1980s.

It welcomed a £10,000 Shetland Community Benefit Fund grant, which be used to create an outline design and 3D model for a promotional video’ to attract the investment necessary to complete the project.

The trust also runs the ShetlandPeerieMakkers project, which provides hand-knitting tuition for bairns in Shetland schools.

Although it’s currently suspended due to Covid restrictions, the trust hopes sessions can resume later this year.

It hopes to use surplus funds generated from the retreats to support the PeerieMakkers project as well as the restoration and maintenance of Brough Lodge.

Brough Lodge Trust chairman, Pierre Cambillard, said: “We’re delighted to have been awarded this funding and I want to thank the Community Benefit Fund and Fetlar Community Council for supporting the project.

“We have also been successful in attracting sponsorship from NorDan, the manufacturer of high-performance windows and doors, for which we are also very grateful.”

Mr Cambillard  said he was hopeful the project could attract further investment, as he believed it would bring “real benefit not only to Fetlar but more widely to Shetland.”

He said there was strong international interest in Shetland’s culture, especially knitting, highlighting the “extraordinary impact” of the amenity trust’s Shetland Wool Week. 

“We have traditions that are distinctive and are part of Shetland’s identity,” he added.

“This project can not only help sustain them but also create much-needed employment.

“Fostering interest in our heritage and nurturing creativity go hand in hand with building a stronger and more diverse economy.”

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