Isles FM News in association with Hebrides News - Friday 25th September 2020


Comhairle nan Eilean Siar is backing the Action for Arnish campaign and is meeting with Energy Minister Paul Wheelhouse later this month to highlight concerns and seek a more sustainable future for the Arnish yard.
Speaking this week, Cllr Donald Crichton, Chairman of the Sustainable Development Committee, said:
“The disappointing news this week that Bifab has been unsuccessful in bidding for the SSE renewables contract off the East coast is a further blow to our local economy. This of course has Implications for the Arnish fabrication yard and leaves our skilled local workforce without any prospect of future work. It further highlights the lack of a national strategy or framework that would put in place incentives to ensure that renewable energy developers use local markets to construct their projects.
Along with the Council Leader I am a signatory to the statement by the Arnish Campaign Group and fully share their frustration at the lack of progress in securing contracts for the yard.”
The Comhairle is meeting with the Energy Minister on 30 September and will be highlighting our concerns and seeking that he open up a new dialogue with the Arnish Campaign Group to address the issues raised and seek a more sustainable future for the Arnish yard.”
The Campaign has the backing of other Councillors, ex-Arnish workers, Trade Unions and local business leaders.



£427,627 of grants have been awarded to 16 projects by The Outer Hebrides Fisheries Local Action Group, creating 18 full time equivalent jobs, supported by the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund 2014-2020 and the Scottish Government.
Comhairle nan Eilean Siar’s Sustainable Development Committee heard details of the scheme at a meeting this week.
Projects were across the islands and included development of new fisheries, boat repair yards, marine tourism businesses, a cockle survey and a Blue Fin Tuna Tagging and Release scheme. Funding for projects must be committed by 31 December 2020 and projects completed and grant assistance claimed by 30 September 2022.
The Committee also heard details of the The Comhairle’s Fisheries Investment Scheme, which has been in operation since October 2012 and has loaned over £1.5M to over 40 applicants across the islands. Loans are up to 40% of eligible project costs, subject to a maximum loan of £100,000 and are available for the purchase of fishing vessels of less than 24 metres in overall length, equipped to go fishing at sea, up to 30 years old.
Over the last six months the scheme has helped support fishing vessel investment of £1.62M with the Comhairle providing £0.46M loan funding from the Fisheries Investment Scheme.



Well-known Stornoway shop – Lewis Crofters - are announcing to the public and their regular Customers that they will be closed all day on Wednesday 30th September next week for their annual stock take. The purpose of the announcement is to make sure that Crofters do not run out of any urgent supplies for their croft and make sure they have ordered any items they need before next Wednesdays Stock take closure day.



HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) is reminding customers that time is running out to register for Self-Assessment.
Anyone submitting a Self-Assessment (SA) return for the first time – including High Income Child Benefit Charge customers - will need to register for SA by 5 October so that they can complete their return by 31 January.
Help is available from the GOV.UK website at or from the Self-Assessment helpline on 0300 200 3310.