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Connectivity and lifestyle

Ultrafast capable island residents David and Jean Newman have experienced first hand the benefits of better connectivity.

The role of technology in island life

David, an architect, worked for a number of years with Sustainable Uist. He’s also brought his expertise to the community-led Sealladh Hiort project – to create a St Kilda viewpoint centre in North Uist.  He says the role of technology, and easier access to a global market, is one which is important to island communities.

The couple are delighted that their son has recently moved to the islands and set up a financial services business.

Modern technology will play its part in telling the St Kilda story at the Balmartin centre.  A webcam, and digital interpretation will sit side by side with original exhibits from what is today a world heritage site. St Kilda communications were certainly more rudimentary - one of the exhibits is the island post bottle.  A sealed canister and wooden box, it was floated on a sheep’s bladder to ferry messages.

Retired NHS Manager, Jean started her mature studies at the N Uist campus of Lews Castle College UHI at Taigh Chearsabhaigh.  Remaining on Grimsay, she then completed her Fine Arts degree as a remote student through Moray College UHI at Elgin, and is now continuing her studies– through Shetland College UHI – with a Masters by Research (MRes) in Creative Practice.

“My forthcoming research Masters is 80% practical and 20% written,  but online delivery means there are no barriers to this learning.”

I’ve had the best of all worlds – local study, the benefit of living in a very vibrant creative community, and having access online to tutors and mentors from Edinburgh, Glasgow, Elgin and Dublin.
Jean Newman, Artist, Grimsay