Isles FM News in association with Hebrides News - Friday 24th July 2020


Na h-Eileanan an Iar SNP MSP Alasdair Allan has welcomed the announcement of the long-awaited £50 million Growth Deal for the Islands.
The £50 million sum allocated by the UK Government will be match-funded by the Scottish Government.

Alasdair Allan MSP commented:

‘The Islands Deal is an exceptional and long-awaited chance to invest in transformational projects in Scotland’s islands.

‘Now that the UK Government have given the go ahead from their side of the bargain, the Scottish Government has matched them pound for pound, and is determined to see the infrastructure and economy of the islands given a boost, at a time when that is needed.

‘The Comhairle has put together a list of potential projects with which it made its funding bid, and the Scottish Government will now work closely with the Comhairle and the community to make sure that as many of these as possible now become a reality.’



Harris Development Ltd, working with the Harris Forum, applied to the Supporting Communities Fund for money to help with the community response to Covid-19 in Harris.
As well as money to help pay mileage costs for volunteers doing deliveries to those who couldn’t get to shops, produce leaflets and in distribute information, etc, they were also able to buy iPads and conference phones for the two Care Homes in Harris to use.
These will help residents enjoy virtual visits from relatives who cannot get to the Homes and also to participate in other activities and Zoom meetings. HDMI leads and adapters were also purchased so that the iPads could be linked withTVs to allow them to see the picture better. The conference phones have been obtained to enable groups to dial into Zoom meetings without needing to get on-line. This now means that a number of groups can join in to church services and other meetings on Zoom as well as being able to speak to relatives without needing to hold the phone in their hands.


The Convener of Comhairle nan EiIean Siar has paid tribute to the work of Mr Finlay Cunningham who is stepping down as a Councillor with immediate effect.
A former teacher, Mr Cunningham was elected to the Comhairle in 2017, representing Na Hearadh Agus Ceann A Deas Nan Loch Ward.
Comhairle Convener, Norman A Macdonald, said:
“Finlay enjoyed a long career as a teacher before being elected as a councillor in 2017. He has been a good colleague for many years and we will miss his contribution to the work of the Comhairle. He will also be missed as a local representative by his constituents, for whom he worked diligently over the past 3 years, though I am sure he will continue to be a valued member of the community. I wish Finlay the very best for the future and I am sure I will see him during visits to Harris.”
Cllr Finlay Cunningham, said:
“It has been a great privilege and a wonderful experience to serve the local community as an elected member of Comhairle nan Eilean Siar over these 3 years. It has also been a pleasure to work with my colleagues and I wish them all every success in their continuing role at the Comhairle.”


VisitScotland is reopening its 26 iCentres by the end of August following a four-month closure due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The opening will take a phased approach which puts the safety of staff and visitors at the centre of the plan.
The phased approach is due to the team at VisitScotland having to make internal changes to every one of the 26 iCentres to ensure that they are adapted for physical distancing, but also to continue to give visitors a warm welcome. There will be a range of safety features installed including Perspex screens, hand sanitisers and signage to ensure physical distancing with some dates possible to change on the dependence of materials and suppliers.
The reopened iCentres will initially only offer an information service to visitors with the hope of reintroducing ticketing, accommodation booking and retail as soon as safe to do so.