News and media

Archive

HIE Board affirms commitment to Outer Hebrides

27 September 2010

Highlands and Islands Enterprise has re-affirmed its long-standing commitment to support communities and businesses in the region's most fragile areas.

The enterprise agency's new Chief Executive Alex Paterson spoke of his ambition for all parts of the Highlands and Islands as members of the HIE Board visited the Outer Hebrides on Thursday 23 and Friday 24 September.

Mr Paterson accompanied Board members Mary Bownes, Jim Royan, Craig Spence and Steve Thomson on the two-day visit.

HIE has supported 58 business and community projects across the Outer Hebrides since January last year. These range from multi-million pound infrastructure projects to support for dozens of local businesses and communities.

"Highlands and Islands Enterprise is ambitious for every part of the region we cover, and holds a strong commitment to support fragile areas in particular," said Mr Paterson.

"Any development agency in the world needs to support and invest in areas which will make the strongest contribution to regional or national growth.

"What makes HIE distinctive is the breadth of our objectives, integrating community development with economic development for maximum effectiveness.

"That's more than just helping businesses, and more than just having a social remit. The integration of these powers has enabled HIE to support private and community-owned enterprises of all sizes, in small communities as well as big towns, and in a broad range of economic sectors."

As examples of HIE's large-scale investments in the Outer Hebrides, Mr Paterson cited the redevelopment of Arnish Point industrial estate, at a cost of £15m, and the Connected Communities project to extend the reach of broadband in the islands, where HIE has spent £4.3m to date.

HIE supported the successful buyout of South Uist Estate in 2006, with its largest-ever community land payment of £2m, and has since approved further development funding for local projects totalling £700,000.

The agency has also put £750,000 towards the creation of the planned media and creative industries centre in Stornoway.

Smaller projects assisted by the Innse Gall team include Clachan Stores, Leverburgh; Taigh Chearsabhagh, Lochmaddy; Ceolas Music Festival; Loch Duart Salmon, and North Uist Fisheries.

Most recently, HIE created a new senior development post focusing on the Uists and Barra. Stephen Leslie, who has just taken up this post, is based at HIE's office in Lionacleit, Benbecula.

On Thursday, the Board members visited a number of businesses and community projects across the Outer Hebrides which are currently working with HIE's Innse Gall area team.

In Stornoway, they toured renewable energy manufacturer BiFab at Arnish, and learned about development plans for Stornoway Inner Harbour and Lews Castle.

On Harris, they met representatives from a range of business and other organisations, including North Harris Trust, West Harris Crofting Trust, Rodel Hotel, Kilda Cruises and Harris Tweed and Knitwear.

In Lochmaddy, North Uist, the Board called in at award-winning arts centre and community hub Taigh Chearsabhaigh.

Mr Paterson also spoke to HIE staff at the organisation's data centre at Lionacleit, and discussed islands issues with Angus MacNeil MP at the Isle of Barra Hotel.

On Friday, the group met Storas Uibhist, to discuss new development proposals.

At the Hebrides Range missile testing site operated by defence contractor QinetiQ, the group discussed the implications of the UK Government's Strategic Defence and Security Review.

"Supporting our fragile areas has always been at the heart of what HIE stands for," said Mr Paterson. "As Chief Executive, it's my aim to concentrate on delivering initiatives which will really make a difference for these communities and businesses.

"That means investing resources to develop those areas where the need is strongest, just as much as those which have the greatest opportunities."

Tha Iomairt na Gàidhealtachd is nan Eilean (HIE) a' dearbhadh na geallaidhean a th'aca ri taic a thoirt do choimhearsnachdan is gnìomhachasan anns na sgìrean as cugallaich san roinn.

Bhruidhinn Ceannard ùr na buidhne iomairt Alex Paterson air an àrd-amas a th'aige airson a' Ghàidhealtachd is na h-Eileanan gu lèir, nuair a thadhal buill dhen bhòrd HIE air na h-Eileanan an Iar, Diardaoin 23 agus Dihaoine 24 Sultain.

Bha buill dhen bhòrd Mary Bownes, Jim Royan, Craig Spence agus Steve Thomson còmhla ri Mgr Paterson air an dà latha.

Thug HIE taic gu 58 pròiseactan gnìomhachasan agus coimhearsnachdan air feadh na h-Eileanan an Iar o chionn Am Faoilleach an uiridh. Tha iad seo a' toirt a-steach pròiseactan bunstructair agus taic gu grunn ghnìomhachasan agus choimhearsnachdan ionadail.

"Tha HIE àrd-amasach airson a h-uile pàirt dhen roinn far a bheil sinn ag obair, agus tha gealltanas làidir againn airson taic a chumail, gu h-àraid anns na sgìrean cugallach," thuirt Mgr Paterson.

"Feumaidh buidhnean leasachaidh sam bith san t-saoghail taic a chumail agus airgead a chuir an sàs anns na h-àitean a dhèanas an co-thabhartas as modha ri fàs roinneil no nàiseanta.

"Tha HIE sònraichte a chionn 's gu bheil ar n-amasan farsaing, agus airson gum bi sinn a' measgachadh leasachadh coimhearsnachdan le leasachadh eaconamach.

Tha sin a' ciallachadh barrachd air a bhith dìreach a' cuideachadh nan gnìomhachasan agus barrachd air a bhith a' cuideachadh chomasan sòisealta. Tha an neart seo a' toirt cothrom do HIE taic a thoirt gu iomairtean prìobhaideach agus gu iomairtean choimhearsnachd, ann an coimhearsnachdan bheaga agus bailtean mòra, agus cuideachd ann an roinnean eaconamach farsaing.

Dh'ainmich Mgr Paterson leasachadh ionad-gnìomhachais Àrnais mar eisimpleir airgead-tasgaidh HIE anns na h-Eileanan an Iar, a chosg £15m, agus pròiseact bann leathainn Connected Communities anns na h-eileanan, far an do chosg e HIE £4.3m gus an latha an diugh.

Nuair a cheannaich Stòras Uibhist talamh ann an 2006, chuir HIE £2m de dh'airgead an sàs - am paigheadh as modha a riamh bhon a' bhuidhean airson fearainn coimhearsnachd. O chionn seo, tha HIE air aontachadh maoineachadh a bharrachd airson pròiseictean ionadail le suim uile corr air £700,000.

Cuideachd, chuidich a' bhuidheann a dh'ionnsaigh planaichean airson ionad nam meadhanan agus gnìomhachasan cruthachail ann an Steòrnabhaigh - le £750,000.

Chuidich HIE pròiseactan nas lugha anns na h-Eileanan an Iar am bliadhna sa agus tha iad seo a' toirt a-steach Clachan Stores, An t-Òb; Taigh Chearsabhagh, (Loch nam Madadh); Fèis Cheòlas, Loch Duart Salmon, agus Iasgaireachd Uibhist a Tuath.

O chionn ghoirid, chruthaich HIE prìomh dhreuchd ùr leasachaidh le fòcas air na h-Uibhistean agus Barraigh. Thòisich Stephen Leslie san dreuchd agus tha e stèidhte ann an oifis HIE ann an Lionacleit, Beinn nam Faoghla.

Thadhal buill dhen Bhòrd, Diardaoin, air grunn phròiseictsan gnìomhachasan agus coimhearsnachdan air feadh na h-Eileanan an Iar a bhios HIE ag obair còmhla ri, gu h-ionadail.

Ann an Steòrnabhagh, chòinnich iad còmhla ri companaidh uidheam gnìomhachais BiFab aig Àrnais, agus dh'ionnsaigh iad barrachd mu dheidhinn na planaichean airson Cala Steòrnabhaigh agus Caisteal Leòdhais.

Anns na Hearadh, choinnich iad còmhla ri riochdairean à grunn de bhuidhnean, a' gabhail a-steach Urras Ceann a Tuath na Hearadh, Urras Croitearachd Taobh Siar na Hearadh, Taigh Òsta Rodel, Kilda Cruises, agus Clò Hearadh is Obair-fighe.

Ann an Loch nam Madadh, Uibhist a Tuath, thadhal buill a' bhùird air Taigh Chearsabhagh - ionad ealain agus cridhe na coimhearsnachd.

Bhruidhinn Mgr Paterson ri luchd-obrach HIE aig Taigh Ceann a Locha ann an Lionacleit, far an robh iad a' beachdachadh air cùisean mu dheidhinn na h-Eileanan, còmhla ri Aonghas MacNeil BP aig Taigh Òsta Eilean Bharraigh.

Choinnich a' bhuidheann, Dihaoine, còmhla ri Stòras Uibhist, airson bruidhinn mu dheidhinn molaidhean leasachaidh.

Aig làrach Raon-rocaidean Innse Gall, obrachadh le QinetiQ, bhruidhinn a' bhuidheann mu dheidhinn na buaidhean a th'aig Sgrùdadh Dìon Riaghaltais na Rìoghachd Aonaichte.

"Tha a' toirt taic do sgìrean cugallach an còmhnaidh air a bhith aig cridhe obair HIE," thuirt Mgr Paterson. "Mar Cheannard, tha amas agamsa fòcas a chuir air leasachaidhean a ni eadar-dhealachadh mòr anns na coimhearsnachdan agus ann an gnìomhachasan.

"Tha seo a' ciallachadh gum feum sinn airgead-seilbh a chuir ann an leasachadh na h-àitean far a bheil e riatanach, dìreach cho mòr sa tha e ann an àitean le cothroman as modha."


Leave a comment

 
Back to top