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Glassmaker to open new visitor centre in far north of Shetland after three years of effort

Glassmaker Cheryl Jamieson outside the new visitor centre.
Glassmaker Cheryl Jamieson outside the new visitor centre.

A Shetland glassmaker is preparing to open a new visitor centre to showcase her work on the most northerly island in the UK.

Cheryl Jamieson started up her glassware business, Glansin Glass, in 2008, and initially produced her work at home.

With her fused glass growing in popularity, she moved the workshop into a temporary hut in 2012.

However, her ultimate ambition was always to set up shop in a purpose-built premises on the island of Unst, and that dream has now been realised after more than three years of effort.

Cheryl Jamieson in the cafe of the new visitor centre.

Cheryl said: “Sometimes I have to pinch myself. I can’t believe we finally made it happen.

“When I started working with glass I knew I’d found something that made me happy and made others happy.

“It was fine when the bairns were younger to keep the business smaller giving a good work/life balance but now they’re grown up it seemed a good time to look at expanding.”

Moment three years in the making

Discussions with the Shetland LEADER Programme for funding rural development began at the start of 2018, and a planned opening in spring 2020 had to be cancelled due to the Covid pandemic.

The delayed opening ceremony will now take place on May 29, streamed over Facebook Live, and visitors will be able to visit the shop – and even try their hand at making their own glass masterpieces – from June 9.

Cheryl added: “Over the years people have travelled up to see us and now we can build on that and hopefully attract many more.

“This continued support has driven me to grow Glansin Glass and it’s long been my dream to offer a cosy space, with an amazing view, where folk can sit down with a coffee and relax making glass.”

Osla Jamwal-Fraser, the Shetland Tourism Association’s Development Officer, said: “Unst is already a great place to visit but the Glansin Glass Visitor Centre adds another top-quality visitor experience which is great for rainy days too.”

More information about the business and the visitor centre can be found on the Glansin Glass website here.

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