Local News for Wednesday 8th May 2019


Organisers of Lewis music festival Stramash are celebrating after securing a five-year sponsorship deal from Point and Sandwick Trust (P.S.T.), which will help with running costs and allow them to expand their operation.

P.S.T. has pledged £7,000 to the festival – a £2,000 grant towards the purchase of a tent extension and £1,000 a year for five years towards running costs.

The annual festival is held every summer on the Castle Green in Stornoway with the aim of providing a platform for local musicians and artists to showcase their own material.
Stramash – on August 9th and 10th this year, with Astrid and Twister confirmed as headliners – is always free to enter, fully inclusive, and the organisers have been gradually buying all the equipment they need over the years, to become fully sustainable.

The money from P.S.T. will allow them to buy a tent extension this year, to increase its capacity by 20 per cent. It will create a much-needed backstage area and a marshalling area for musical equipment, which will allow for bigger musical set-ups on stage and faster changeovers between bands.

Paul Matheson, chairman of the Stramash Stornoway Community Group, said the money from P.S.T. was “a complete game changer”.
Donald John MacSween, P.S.T. general manager, said: “Stramash, organised entirely by Paul and his dedicated band of volunteers and talented island musicians, is now an important part of the summer event scene in the islands.



A renewed call for the Comhairle to build a wind farm was made at the Communities and Housing Committee recently.
During discussions about the radial interconnector and Ofgem’s view that the link would be underutilised, SNP group leader, Stornoway North councillor Gordon Murray, asked that the viability of the Comhairle plugging the gap with turbines might be an option.
Speaking after the meeting, Councillor Murray said: “It is hugely important that any financial benefits are equally distributed throughout the islands to all. The Comhairle and the Stornoway Trust have embarked on a joint venture and should be looking at having as many publicly-owned turbines as possible.
"I represent a large number of people who don’t have crofts and they should not be left behind. I look forward to their discussions on this matter.
“The Comhairle represents all our interests and are custodians of our resources along with organisations such as the Stornoway Trust – therefore opportunities like this should benefit all rather than a few.