Shetland lies at Europe's north-western frontier, over 200 miles north of Aberdeen and nearly 1,000 miles from Brussels. It comprises more than 100 islands, 16 of which are inhabited.
The islands population is 23,167 with more than a third living in the capital, Lerwick. With its vibrant culture, stunning seascapes and abundant wildlife, Shetland has a strong identity which owes much to its historic links with Northern Europe.
The Norse influence is also noticeable in the Shetland dialect and on place names and in January, Vikings roam the streets of Lerwick at the annual, and the worlds biggest, fire festival, Up Helly Aa. However, economically, administratively and politically, Shetland is part of Scotland and the United Kingdom.Show more
Nowhere in Shetland is more than three miles from the coast and many aspects of life are strongly influenced by the sea. Travellers have been visiting these lands since Neolithic times and evidence of Shetland's past is everywhere to be seen.
The Shetland economy was traditionally reliant on fisheries and agriculture and although these are still important, aquaculture and the oil industry are now the largest sectors. The public sector is also a major employer. Other sectors such as tourism and food and drink are helping boost employment across the islands.
Exciting projects such as the £12 million Mareel Creative Industries Centre in Lerwick, community-led projects such as those in Fetlar which are boosting the local population by over 40% and proposed wind and wave renewable energy projects are all examples of how Shetland is booming.Show less
Businesses across the Highlands and Islands stand to benefit from the new £65m National Manufacturing Institute for Scotland (NMIS), announced this week by First Minster Nicola Sturgeon.
It has never been more important for businesses in the Highlands and Islands to target global markets, writes Martin Johnson, HIE’s head of international trade and investment.
COPE Ltd in Lerwick provides employment and skills for adults with disabilities and has recently benefited from a grant of £122,350 from HIE to help diversify and grow the business.
Businesses in the Highlands and Islands are being encouraged to apply to a new fund that supports the development of new ideas for products and services.
Fifteen graduates who are currently working on innovative placements projects with organisations across the region took part in a residential training course in October.
Laurence Odie Knitwear Ltd, a manufacturing business based in Sandwick, is increasing its workforce and investing in new machinery with support from HIE.
A hub for the growth and development of the creative industries sector in Shetland.