Isles FM News in association with Hebrides News - Thursday 11th June 2020


Crown Estate Scotland who manage Scotland’s seabed, have announced that three sea areas, off the coast of the Isle of Lewis, have been opened up for the building of wind farms.
They are included in the launch, of the first round of offshore wind leasing in Scottish waters, for a decade. With seventeen zones around Scotland, open for bidding to build offshore turbines.
Total investment could potentially surpass £8 billion and deliver more than enough green electricity to power every Scottish household, saving six million tonnes of CO2 per year.
John Robertson, Crown Estate Scotland’s head of energy and infrastructure said: “Today is a huge step forward in kick-starting Scotland’s green recovery, meeting net zero targets and bringing multi-billion pound investments to benefit communities across the nation.
“Offshore wind is currently one of the cheapest forms of new electricity generation and Scotland is perfectly poised to host major new projects, with a well-established energy skills sector as well as some of the best natural marine resources in Europe.”



Na h-Eileanan an Iar SNP MSP Alasdair Allan, has commented on the announcement that tourism businesses in Scotland have been given a provisional date on which they can re-open.

Earlier today, Cabinet Secretary for Rural Economy and Tourism Fergus Ewing announced the provisional date of 15 July in a statement to the Scottish Parliament. The re-opening date is subject to scientific advice and the formal go-ahead will not be confirmed until 9 July.

Alasdair Allan MSP commented “The date given is provisional and is obviously going to depend on the circumstances at the time, such as the infection rate, and scientific advice. However, I hope it at least gives tourism businesses in the islands something to work towards and prepare for.

“We will need to carefully examine how the Western Isles reintroduces tourism, given the constraints on ferry capacity that social distancing measures will bring, and the need to ensure that islanders have their own transport needs respected. I continue to have discussions with Islands Minister Paul Wheelhouse about how this will be done, and much will obviously depend on what health advice is given about when people should be using island ferries and planes in future.



Angus MacNeil MP is today reminding constituents of the new Test and Protect system which went live in the Western Isles last week. Anyone over the age of five who displays symptoms of coronavirus can now get tested by contacting a local telephone number and attending an appointment in Stornoway, Balivanich or Castlebay.
Mr MacNeil commented ‘It is important in this phase of the pandemic, as lockdown is gradually eased, that anyone who thinks they may have symptoms of coronavirus comes forward for testing.
‘This is particularly important for those who have recently travelled from their work as seamen, in the oil and gas industry or have been off the island for any other essential reason. Do not ignore symptoms which could put yourself, your family and other islanders at risk, also as many people are asymptomatic it could be argued that getting tested for even the slightest symptoms is a social good to family and community, especially as there is testing capacity available.



The Lewis and Harris Piping Society is to holding a virtual piping competition for the first time in its history – inviting entries from players under the age of 18 living in the Outer Hebrides.
The competition has a variety of categories, from chanter beginners to piobaireachd , to encourage every level of player to take part.
Eight judges will be assessing the performances, to be submitted by June 19, and the Piping Society is delighted to announce a highly acclaimed panel of judges for the competition. The competition is sponsored by community wind farm organisation Point and Sandwick Trust,
Entries are to be submitted via The Lewis and Harris Piping Society website



Also a reminder for this evening, Thursday, there is an opportunity, to test your knowledge on the popular Comhairle nan Eilean Siar Quiz. It will be on Facebook Live at 7.30 on the Comhairle nan Eilean Siar Page with quizmaster Kerry MacPhee.