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Shetland will no longer be boxed in on official maps

A new law means that the islands can no longer be boxed off from Scotland on maps.

MAPS: New law changes islands location on maps
MAPS: New law changes islands location on maps © STV

New legislation comes into force banning boxing off Shetland on official maps.

The Shetland mapping requirement section of the Islands (Scotland) Act stipulates the islands "must be displayed in a manner that accurately and proportionately represents their geographical location in relation to the rest of Scotland".

Shetland MSP Tavish Scott, who campaigned for the change, said: "There is no excuse now for the Scottish Government, its agencies or others to put Shetland in a box.

"The box is closed. It doesn't exist, whether that be in the Moray Firth or east of Orkney.

"Shetland is now in the right place.

"It is ridiculous that I had to change the law to make this happen but so be it."

He said island-proofing duty the new law introduces - ensuring the islands are recognised in any law or government regulation - must work, arguing at the moment this is not happening.

The legislation also means a National Islands Plan will be developed aiming to increase sustainable economic development and community empowerment.

Islands Minister Paul Wheelhouse said: "The Scottish islands have contributed and continue to contribute hugely to our culture and heritage and with this Act now starting to take force, will now have the opportunity to contribute even further to their own and our collective futures.

"They have very distinctive needs so the Act introduces a number of measures to ensure there is a sustained focus across Government and the wider public sector to meet the needs of island communities now and in the future.

"On a more visual front, it ensures Shetland will no longer be 'boxed off' on maps which has been a cause of irritation to those living in Shetland

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