Shetland's Glansin Glass sparkling on back of support package

A glass artist has hosted her first workshops in a bespoke studio and visitor centre after receiving support from Business Gateway, including help securing funding of more than £100,000.

Glansin Glass was founded by Cheryl Jamieson in 2008, and is based in Unst in Shetland. She specialises in the design of contemporary fused glass including jewellery, tableware, and art pieces, and draws inspiration from her surroundings to create bespoke pieces.

Following a package of support, Business Gateway encouraged Ms Jamieson to take the next step to grow her business, which involved building a studio and visitor centre near her home in Uyeasound.

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Business Gateway helped her put together a complex tailored finance package, and she consequently secured more than £100,000 from Leader, a programme funded by the Scottish Government and the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development: Europe investing in rural areas. Support also came from Shetland Islands Council, helping her to start construction.

Ms Jamieson also says she now has more time to focus on creating her own products, which she can do in a bespoke space. Picture: contributed.

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The space, which opened in May 2021 following a 12-month delay because of the pandemic, comprises a workshop, display, storage and office areas as well as a space for teaching. Glansin Glass has since been able to welcome visitors and host workshops, with more than 300 people attending classes since June. “Since launching the workshops in June, we’ve been booked solid, working six days a week and putting on additional sessions to accommodate the growing demand,” she said.

Ms Jamieson also took part in DigitalBoost, Scotland’s digital upskilling programme delivered by Business Gateway that helped her to redesign her website and sell products online to a wider market.

Ms Jamieson also took part in a unique development programme, called Realise, tailored to meet the needs of local self-employed women. Launched by Business Gateway, in partnership with The Pure Energy Centre as part of the W-Power Project, eight female entrepreneurs were selected to take part in the six-month pilot.

Kirsten Nicolson, Business Gateway manager, said: “Almost two years after work started on Cheryl’s new studio and workshop, it’s incredible to see it open and welcoming a high number of customers. I’m confident this will not only benefit the long-term growth of Glansin Glass, but also support tourism to the area, bringing wider economic benefits to Unst.”

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