Four major infrastructure projects have been recommended for approval at Stage 2 of successful applications to the Scottish Government’s Regeneration Capital Grant Fund (RCGF). This is now the seventh year of successful applications made to the Fund by the Comhairle’s Economic Development Officers.

A refurbishment of the former Knock school, Aros an Rubha, will transform the building into a vibrant community hub providing services, employment and volunteering opportunities - as well as being a centre which promotes the language, culture and heritage of the area.

Solar na Mara in Carloway will see refurbishment of: the community centre; former schoolhouse; the creation of a community kitchen; sports changing-room facilities; office accommodation; and refurbishment of the annex building into a community shop and laundry.

In Great Bernera, a marina hub will transform the neglected and underused harbour at Kirkibost through remediation work and development of shoreline areas. The onshore development involves site consolidation, along with demolition and infrastructure upgrading for future economic and leisure activity.

The Stornoway Regeneration Programme - Phase 2 (Newton Gateway) will provide enabling works to transform vacant and derelict land in the Newton Industrial area of Stornoway, facilitating further private sector investment and small and medium business growth, and delivering on a Commercial Corridor in the Town.

Significant funding of £2.5m towards projects totaling £7m in Lewis will safeguard and create new jobs, transform vacant and derelict land and buildings add create new infrastructure in the respective communities. Applications by officers from the Comhairle’s Economic Development service have secured money consistently from the RCGF over seven consecutive years. Total project costs are over £35m and £10.5m has been secured from the Fund.

The Comhairle’s Chairman of Sustainable Communities, Donald Crichton said: “This is an excellent result again for the communities of the Western Isles. The RCGF, together with significant funding from Highlands and Islands’ Enterprise, local and external funders, will see significant facilities created that will sustain communities and drive growth in these areas.”

HIE’s Area Manager for Innse Gall, Rachel Mackenzie said: “We are delighted with CnES’s continued success in obtaining support from the Scottish Government through the Regional Capital Grant Fund. The range of projects supported demonstrate how important this fund is to our economy and HIE are delighted to be working in partnership with CnES on many of these successful RCGF projects.”