A feasibility study to examine the need for commercial premises in Benbecula has been commissioned by Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE).
At business and community engagement events held by HIE in 2012, a number of local business owners raised concerns regarding the availability, location and quality of modern and efficient business units on the island.
In response to this, HIE, though an existing contract with Torrance Partnership, has commissioned Fraser Architecture LLP to undertake a feasibility study.
The study will examine the existing availability and condition of commercial property in the area, establish level of demand and consider potential site options.
Feedback is welcome through an online or hard copy questionnaire - and representatives from both HIE and Fraser Architecture will host an open event in Balivanich Hall on 8 May.
Joanna Peteranna, HIE Senior Development Manager for Uist and Barra said: “It is clear that the availability of modern and efficient premises is crucial in the success of many businesses. Through the business and community engagement events and also feedback through our partners at Business Gateway, there are real concerns that Benbecula lacks suitable business premises. We are looking to find out exactly what is currently available and match this to the demand by existing and potentially new businesses in the area.”
Robert Fraser from Fraser Architecture LLP, said:“The exercise will not only look at current availability but will also identify potential land where new buildings could be built, or existing buildings which could be converted or upgraded to meet any identified demand.
“Businesses and the wider community are being asked to make their views known and adverts will also be placed in local press.”
The resulting study will help inform future planning by the enterprise agency, however any future investment will be subject to the findings of the report and available funding.
To give your views a questionnaire is available from Fraser Architecture LLP or you can complete the Survey Monkey Questionnaire.
SURVEY LINK https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/XR5KL9Y