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Stornoway’s oldest surviving Harris Tweed Mill changed hands today (Monday September 2).

In an announcement this morning, Kenneth Mackenzie Ltd was transferred from owner Brian Haggas - who is retiring - to its managing director Alex Lockerby.

He said: “I am astounded by this act of generosity by Brian Haggas, also overwhelmed by the confidence he has shown in me.

“We have worked together over a number of years to re-build Kenneth Mackenzie Ltd.  Our relationship was always one of mutual trust and we were very much on the same page as to how the rebuilding process should be implemented.

“Throughout the process he has shown true Yorkshire grit and integrity, and I and the staff at Kenneth Mackenzie would like to extend our warmest thanks and gratitude to him.

“We would also like to take this opportunity to wish both himself and Howard Pighills a happy and healthy retirement.”

Mr Haggas stated: “As from today Kenneth Mackenzie Ltd will be wholly owned by Mr Alec Lockerbie.

 Alec and I have worked together for a number of years. He is exceptionally able, totally honest and a superb man and manager. We have never had a wrong word.

 I have come to believe that the iconic name of Harris Tweed belongs to the people of the Western Isles.

“It is not something for financial vultures to buy and strip out all the cash leaving the company bankrupt. Harris Tweed Fabric is an integral part of the Western Isles and as such should be owned and produced by the islanders and any profits should remain there to enhance the life of the people.

“I wish you all much happiness, success and the very best of luck.”

Kenneth Mackenzie’s is the oldest Harris Tweed mill still in production with the company able to trace its origins back to 1909.