The tourist office in Tarbert will be able to open for the new visitor season, says Comhairle nan Eilean Siar.

This claim came after the Council stated earlier that it does not want to run the tourist office in the building which it owns in the centre of the village’s main car park and where until last autumn VisitScotland ran the office.

Outer Hebrides Tourism and VisitScotland are now working together to create information points throughout the Islands using private sector or Third Sector partners.

It is understood there is a would-be private sector partner for the Tarbert Office but there  has been growing concern since last autumn in Harris about the fate of the office.  The tourist agencies originally expected the office to be open in its new format throughout the winter.  The Tarbert tourist office is the busiest in the Outer Hebrides.

Now a senior CnES source says that a public/private arrangement has been arrived at where the private operator will include the Tourist Information elements.

It is understood that legal paperwork is being completed at present but commercial sensitivities mean the identity of the private sector operator cannot yet be made public.