Isles FM News in association with Hebrides News - Monday 15th June 2020

FERRY ELIGIBILITY FOR TRAVEL

Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, has confirmed that Island Authorities, are involved in discussions, regarding any proposed amendments to travel restrictions, on ferries to and from the Islands.

The Comhairle is seeking clarification on eligibility for travel, as restrictions are gradually eased, with a preference for island residents and essential travellers, being the priority in the initial stages.

A Comhairle spokesperson said: “First and foremost in our considerations will be the safety of our communities. At some point, the Islands will have to open up to recreational and other visitors for the sake of our economy, but that will have to be done gradually and carefully. We will continue to have discussions with Scottish Government and all interested parties”.

Read more: Isles FM News in association with Hebrides News - Monday 15th June 2020

Isles FM News - Friday 12th June 2020

FERRY SERVICES AS TOURISM INDUSTRY PREPARES TO OPEN

Cal Mac is seeking to expand ferry services across its network. The shipping firm has been consulting with Transport Scotland, over increasing operations, to near wintertime levels.
Cal Mac suggested a new timetable could commence next month. Decisions on when restrictions are lifted and what categories of passengers can travel, will be made by the Scottish Government.
Presently, a skeleton service is in place - limited to key workers and essential travel - with vessels running under a third of sailings compared to a wintertime schedule.
A Cal Mac spokesman said “The service can cope with an increase of traffic levels similar to the winter season, with ferries used mainly used by islanders and commercial vehicles. Any busier than that, would result in capacity restrictions being implemented”

Read more: Isles FM News - Friday 12th June 2020

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

BID FOR WINDFARM DEVELOPMENT OFF LEWIS

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.”

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

Isles FM News in association with Hebrides News - Wednesday 10th June 2020

COVID-19

 

A seventh person in the Western Isles has tested positive for Covid-19.

This is the first confirmed case of the virus in the islands since 10 April.

A health board spokesperson said: “The individual remains well and is self isolating at home. Contacts have been identified and are being contacted in line with test-and-protect.”

The island resident was tested in recent days and the results provided to the health board via the UK notification system.

Read more: Isles FM News in association with Hebrides News - Wednesday 10th June 2020

Isles FM News in association with Hebrides News - Tuesday 9th June 2020

FUNDING BOOST FOR COMMUNITY GROUPS

The Aspiring Communities Fund, has allocated almost £617,000 to groups in the Outer Hebrides. The Fund which levers in European Social Funds, was launched by the Scottish Government in 2017, to help reduce poverty and enable inclusive growth, in disadvantaged and fragile communities across Scotland.
HIE has assisted community organisations in the Western Isles to apply to this recent round of funding, with six of the 11 new awards, coming to the area
Communities Secretary Aileen Campbell said: “The Scottish Government wants to create a fairer and more equal Scotland. We know that local communities understand best, where funding can make a difference in their own areas.
“The Aspiring Communities funding will support organisations to deliver tangible, innovative approaches to tackle poverty and inequality based on local need and priorities, many of which have been impacted by the non-health harms caused by Covid-19.”
The successful groups were An Lanntair, Stornoway Stepping Stones, Carloway Community Association Building Brighter Futures, Ceòlas Uibhist Ltd Crossing Over Integration, Garadh a Bhagh a Tuath Growing the Garadh, Pairc Playgroup Nursery Expansion and West Harris Trust Community Participation Project.

Read more: Isles FM News in association with Hebrides News - Tuesday 9th June 2020