Loganair and Flybe

Tourists will find it easier to visit some of Scotland's most remote areas after a deal struck between a regional airline and a low-cost carrier, it was claimed.

A new franchise agreement between Loganair and Flybe will mean that connecting flights from cities across Europe to airports throughout the Highlands and Islands can be booked at the same time.

Loganair claim the deal, which comes into effect in October 2008, will make it easier for tourists to get to the communities it serves including Shetland, Orkney, Wick, Stornoway, Benbecula, Barra, Tiree, Islay and Campbeltown.

Radio 2 Young Folk Award

Jeana Leslie and Siobhan Miller have been crowned winners of the 10th BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Award.

The duo claimed the title at the end of a night of music at The Queen Elizabeth Hall, Southbank Centre, London where once again six of the UK's most promising young folk acts performed for the chance to win a host of prizes and kick start their careers.

 The prize for the winners includes a session for Mike Harding's Radio 2 show and slots at three of the UK's most important festivals – Cambridge Folk Festival, Fairport's Cropredy Convention and Towersey Village Festival.

Jeana Leslie and Siobhan Miller are third year students on the BA Scottish Music course at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama in Glasgow. Jeana is 19 and comes from Orkney, Siobhan is 20 and is from Penicuik.

For the Radio 2 Young Folk Award final Siobhan sang and Jeana played piano, fiddle and sang. The duo were presented with their award by singer, songwriter and musician Seth Lakeman, who collected two awards himself at this year's award ceremony.

 

Boots and Bog Myrtle

Boots PLC has plans to launch a range of products using essential oil extracted from bog myrtle as one of the main ingredients. However, to achieve this aim, there needs to be a ready supply of bog myrtle. Luckily for Boots, two institutions have provided grants to research how to cultivate the plant on a commercial basis. The companies, the Agronomy Institute on Orkney, part of the University of the Highlands, and Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) grants will be to the tune of £94,000 and £201,000 respectively.

 

The trial products made by Boots were said to have been a success with consumers. Boots new line of products will refer to bog myrtle as Sweet Gale which is expected to better appeal to consumers.

Best Building in Scotland

In the first 7 weeks since re-opening to the public in July of this year 16,500 people visited the Pier Arts Centre. Considering the population of Stromness is just over 2,000 this goes some way to quantify the worth and value of this restoration, refurbishment and new-build of the internationally acclaimed arts venue. Now, winning the biggest prize in British Architecture, the Pier Arts Centre is marked as a virtuous winner of the RIAS Andrew Doolan Award for Architecture 2007.

Uppies Triumph Again

The New Year's Day Men's Ba' proved something of a marathon for the Uppies... It was not so much a case of if they would defeat the Doonies - which they did in just over four hours - but who should win the coveted ba'.

Although Stephen Kemp touched the Uppie goal - Mackinson's Corner - at 5.20pm, it took a further 50 minutes to decide which player should be awarded the trophy.

Among the names who were contenders for the Uppie Men's Ba' were Sigurd Gibson and Neil Stevenson. But it was 37-year-old Neil Stockan of Kirkwall (who was eventually given the honour.

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