Promote Shetland - what we've been up to

by Promote Shetland -

Promote Shetland has been hard at work over the last couple of months to develop local crafts, industries and food production. We’ve also aimed to focus attention on the isles’ many attributes, bring in visitors and encourage new residents to settle here.

Tasty! Very, very tasty!

The Shetland Food Fair at the Clickimin Centre, organised by the Shetland Food Producers Group, was a major success, for the first time standing as an event in its own right - in previous years it has been combined with the annual craft fair. The aim of attracting 1,000 visitors was met by Saturday afternoon, with an entire day of activities still to go. Promote Shetland saw the fair as an opportunity to inspire and educate the local audience on the huge range of quality produce available from the isles, and was directly involved all weekend.

We were delighted to support the Shetland Food Producers Group again this year by organising the ‘Taste of Shetland’ demonstration theatre. We were also absolutely thrilled that Tony Singh agreed to travel to Shetland for this year’s event, we hope that his will help raise the profile of our food and drink sector locally and throughout Scotland.

We supported the event by organising cookery demonstrations in the Food Theatre throughout the weekend, in order to showcase local chefs who are passionate about cooking with Shetland produce. The audience had a chance to watch some of Shetland’s inspiring chefs in action and sample delicious produce including Shetland beef, lamb, pork, white fish, mussels, scallops, crab, vegetables and dairy products. And we arranged, with the Scalloway Hotel, celebrity chef Tony Singh's visit. Tony officially opened the event to the public with a cookery demonstration and Q&A session.

Linked to the fair, the autumn issue of 60North Magazine was food and drink themed to support what was happening at Clickimin. We were delighted to help the Shetland Food and Drink Producers Group in all their efforts and congratulate them on their fantastic work.

Renewables at the movies

We have produced, for Shetland Islands Council and Highlands and Islands Enterprise, a film to promote Shetland’s capacity for working in the field of renewable energy. The aim is to promote Shetland as a place to do business, highlighting natural resources, skills and location. By working closely with local businesses and industry operators we’re conveying the message that Shetland is well equipped and ideally positioned to support the renewables industry.

This is another production made completely by Shetland talent, in Shetland – it was produced by Promote Shetland, filmed and edited by Liz Musser, the music and graphics were done by JJ Jamieson and Tom Morton did the scriptwriting, interviews and narration.

The film is complete and will be available to view on YouTube and this website very soon.

Wooly thinking!

Shetland Wool Week was hugely successful and a wooly jewel in the islands’ crown! It is managed, promoted and organised by Promote Shetland and their partners, and is well on the way to becoming a fixture on the international textiles scene.

The 2014 event brought in at least an additional £199,000 to Shetland economy (this excludes travel to Shetland) and we estimate this year the figure will be higher still (the official figure will be available in January 2016).

Some very encouraging facts and figures: Ticket sales doubled over the previous year and there were around 200 classes, workshops, open studios and exhibitions, with the opening ceremony being attended by nearly 300 folk. Over 16,000 people downloaded the pattern for Donna Smith’s ‘Baa-ble’ hat, which was one of the visual hallmarks of the week, being worn proudly by many of our visitors! We now have over 14,000 subscribers to our newsletter - an increase of 11,000 over this time last year. And we printed 2000 copies of the Shetland Wool Week 2015 Annual 2015, a really collectible, beautifully written and illustrated book. It’s now completely now sold out.

This year we experimented with a new concept of sharing live talks outside Shetland by streaming online a ‘pay-per-view’ service. Kate Davies and Ella Gordon's talk was sold out so this enabled a larger audience to tune in. There were viewers from nine different countries with the US ranking high. The talk is also available to view on demand and is still attracting regular views over a month after the event. We hope to explore this idea further.

Our future plans include attending the Vogue Knitting event in New York in January and the Edinburgh Yarn Festival in March to promote Shetland Wool Week, and we're working on a lot of new things which will be revealed in early 2016.

Living and working in Shetland

We are working together with NHS Shetland to promote the isles as a vibrant and exciting place in which to live, work and study.

We have already produced an article in 60North Magazine and created a short video with a visiting dental surgeon Andy Kinnear. These tell Andy’s story: why he came to Shetland and what he likes most about living and working in the isles. By sharing Andy’s Shetland experience we hope to inspire other professionals to consider a career based in the isles. And NHS Shetland is delighted to announce that Andy will be staying in Shetland for a further year.

The campaign continues in the next 60North Magazine and focuses on GP recruitment.

We have also just begun work on another documentary style video package about living and working as a GP in Shetland. We aim to complete this in early 2016 along with an additional two video packages. The videos will be used as part of NHS Shetland's recruitment campaign.