The tourist information point in Tarbert is not going to be run by Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, the council confirmed yesterday (Wednesday February 13th)

A council spokesman said that discussions were continuing with VisitScotland about the facility which is based in a Council-owned building in the centre of the village’s main car park that also includes toilets and a waiting room for bus services.

Concerns have been raised in Harris about whether the office will reopen after the winter break.

Originally VisitScotland and Outer Hebrides Tourism had announced this would be one of the new-style information points for visitors which are replacing the tourist offices that used to exist throughout the Islands – such as in Castlebay where the Citizens Advice Bureau has now taken over the building and the new information point is to be housed in the community shop Buth Bharraigh. It was understood that the Tarbert office would be run by a private-sector partner in a similar way to the office in Lochboisdale which is expected to reopen this year.

The Tarbert office is very heavily used throughout the summer by visitors arriving on the CalMac ferries from Skye, although under the new system it is expected there will also be an information point in Leverburgh, the other point of entry for Harris.

It had been suggested last year that the Tarbert 'information point' would be open throughout the winter but the centre closed as in previous years once the visitor season ended.

Comhairle nan Eilean Siar said today (Thursday February 14th) that they expect the office to reopen in April.

Last paragraph updated with new information after first publication