Page last updated at 12:14 GMT, Thursday, 6 May 2010 13:14 UK

School knitting tuition ended by council cutbacks

Children have been taught knitting in Shetland schools

Knitting tuition is to end in schools in Shetland, despite fears it could threaten the future of its world-famous knitwear industry.

The Shetland Islands Council move will save the authority's education budget about £130,000 a year.

Fourteen part-time staff will now be redeployed, or offered voluntary redundancy.

Some in the local trade believe the knock-on effect could cut off the textile industry at the roots.

Lerwick knitwear trader Evelyn Leask admitted almost no-one under the age of 50 now made a living by hand-knitting.

But she warned: "It's really important that Shetland's heritage is taught to the young people of Shetland so that they can continue and learn to do it and also keep the knitwear industry fruitful."

Some of the new local crop of textile designers have said they were inspired by knitting lessons in school.

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