The National Piping Centre (NPC) is currently seeking a Shop Manager for its busy retail outlet, The Bagpipe Shop. As an integral part of the team, the successful applicant will be tasked with supporting the running of the shop. This is an exciting opportunity to develop and learn more about retail management and traditional music, especially bagpipes.

Duties include:

  • Motivating a small team to deliver great customer service
  • Training and developing the team to maximise their potential
  • The opening, closing, and daily running of the shop
  • Planning retail marketing activity
  • Meeting and exceeding your sales budget and profit targets.
  • Managing stock control and conducting regular stock takes.

Personal requirements:

  • Previous experience within retail sector
  • Strong customer focused background
  • Positive, happy and energetic attitude
  • Be authentic, dynamic and hands on
  • A can-do attitude and passion for working retail and customer service
  • The ability to thrive under pressure whilst being a brilliant motivator and inspiring your team within a professional but fun environment.

Salary would be £20,000 pa plus dependent on experience, for the right person

Please send a CV by 5.00pm on January 21, along with a covering letter outlining why you would like the role, to Alberto Laidlaw at

Organisers of Celtic Connections have cancelled several shows due to ongoing uncertainty around COVID-19 safety measures in Scotland. At the time of posting, the festival is still going ahead albeit in a scaled-back form.

Celtic Connections logo

The popular festival – this year would be the 29th – had been due to commence on January 20, but many shows have been pulled. Artists impacted are being contacted and encouraged to apply to the Creative Scotland COVID-19 Cancellation Fund for Creative Freelancers to help with financial support.

Organisers said in a statement: “We have not come to these decisions lightly and are committed to presenting a form of the festival which brings the connection and joy of Celtic Connections to audiences, while being both feasible and safe for all involved.

“We are currently working through many different scenarios and options and reviewing all shows in line with existing event restrictions. We will continue to keep our audiences up to date as the plans for Celtic Connections 2022 evolve.”

2021’s online festival sold more than 27,000 tickets and attracted audiences from over 60 different countries, with more than 10.5 million minutes of musical entertainment viewed over a 19-day programme.

Inveraray & District Pipe Band at Celtic Connections in 2010.

Over the past seven days, 110,570 cases of COVID-19 have been reported in Scotland, with 14,486 cases confirmed yesterday. However, the Scottish Government says the reporting of some results continues to be delayed because of the larger volumes of tests being processed by labs.

Encouragingly, statistics show the Omicron wave may be stalling in Scotland. The seven-day average as of yesterday was 15,435.1 – which is down from the peak of 16 220.4 on January 3.

Combine this with consistently low and unchanging intensive care unit numbers and hospitalisations (though still climbing) running at around 25% lower than in England, there is cause for cautious optimism … plus, of course, sticking to the safety measures.

Around 2,000 arts performers in Ireland are to be paid a basic income by the country’s government for three years.

The Basic Income for the Arts scheme will provide a specific number of people working in the arts with a weekly payment so they can pursue their creative work. A basic payment of €10.50 (£8.75) an hour is suggested in a consultation but the overall income is still to be decided.

The consultation runs until January 27.

Ireland’s government will commit c.£20.87m to the scheme.