The Stornoway Trust and Comhairle nan Eilean Siar have reached an advanced stage in the preparation of tender documents for the capital works elements of the Castle Grounds Regeneration Project.

A future contract opportunity notice will be published and it is anticipated that tender documentation will be published on the Public Contracts Scotland during week commencing 19 June 2017.

An Information Day and site visit for potential contractors will be held on 29 June 2017.

The capital works will be split into two contracts, one relating to the work in the grounds and one for the restoration of buildings.

The Ground Works have an estimated value £2.7 million and will include restoration of the former private gardens, historic features and planting schemes, drainage, works to paths and new facilities including signage within the Grounds.

The Building works have an estimated value of £450,000 and primarily comprise the repair and restoration of the Boatman’s Tower and the Porters Lodge.

It is hoped that there will be interest in these contracts from local suppliers as well as those based further afield.

Stornoway Trust Chairman, Calum Maclean, urged businesses to take a close look at the opportunities and requirements.

‘Whilst there are heritage elements to both contracts this can be effectively delivered either by the main contractor themselves or through an effective sub-contracting arrangement. We have framed the tender documentation in such a way that either a specialist or generalist contractor could take the lead and submit a tender submission.’

This is the latest milestone in a joint initiative by the Stornoway Trust and Comhairle nan Eilean Siar to restore and improve the Castle Grounds through a major project with Lottery Funding under the Parks for People Programme.

The project aims to restore important historic features, improve access, enhance management and maintenance and provide new facilities that will enable even more people to enjoy this outstanding public park.

The Trust and the Comhairle have recently formalised the partnership for the delivering the project and have established a joint Project Board to oversee the project.

The Castle Grounds, covering an area of over 600 acres, were originally laid out in the second half of the 19th Century by Sir James Matheson who built Lews Castle on a prominent but largely treeless site overlooking Stornoway Harbour.

The Stornoway Trust is a community owned estate covering 28,000 hectares of the north and east of the Isle of Lewis, the largest island of the Outer Hebrides. The Trust was set up in 1923 when Lord Leverhulme, who had ambitious plans for developing the island, gifted the land to the community. The gift included Lews Castle and its grounds.

Stornoway Trust has been working closely with Comhairle nan Eilean Siar on the co-ordinated regeneration of the Castle Grounds and Lews Castle. The restoration of Lews Castle was led by the Comhairle and has been completed.

The Castle Grounds Regeneration project will focus on a core area from the Porter’s Lodge to Cuddy Point including the former Private Gardens.