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Cta Man
Great Bernera Pontoons Resized

Beàrnaraigh Leòdhais gu bhith na làr-ionad airson turasachd mara

Published: 05/09/2022

Tha luchd-tadhail turasachd mara gu Innse Gall a’ faighinn buannachd bho cheangal ùr anns an t-sreath de ghoireasan air taobh siar Leòdhais.

Tha luchd-tadhail turasachd mara gu Innse Gall a’ faighinn buannachd bho cheangal ùr anns an t-sreath de ghoireasan air taobh siar Leòdhais.

Chaidh tabhartas de £70,000 a bhuileachadh le Iomairt na Gàidhealtachd ’s nan Eilean (HIE) air Urras Leasachaidh Coimhearsnachd Bheàrnaraigh Mhòir (GBCDT) gus cuideachadh leis a’ chosgais a choinneachadh an tha an lùib 12 acarsaid a chruthachadh airson cleachdadh ionadail air bàtaichean agus acarsaidean uisge nas doimhne do iataichean a bhios a’ tadhal.    

Dh’fhosgail a’ chiad ìre den drochaid air fleodradh (pontùn) air a ruith leis a’ choimhearsnachd aig cidhe Chirceboist ann am Beàrnaraigh Mhòr as t-Earrach 2022, an dèidh crìoch a chur air a’ phontùn còmhla ri seirbheis ùr rothairean air màl gus siubhal seasmhach a bhrosnachadh.

Tha an dàrna h-ìre den obair a tha ga chur os làimh gu làithreach a’ gabhail a-steach togalach ghoireasan. Tha e air a ruith ann am pàirt le cumhachd ath-nuadhachail gus goireasan fhrasan-nighe, taighean-beaga agus nigheadaireachd a sholarachadh; agus puing teàirrdsidh EV.  Bidh àite an làthair cuideachd do bhanaichean campachaidh.

Tha an t-slighe ùr chun an uisge a’ misneachadh luchd-tadhail chur-seachadan mara a thighinn gu tìr agus fuireach nas fhaide, a’ brosnachadh leasachadh gnothachais agus a’ toirt seachad chothroman nas motha air gnìomhachdan mara a choileanadh.

Aig amannan dripeil, faodaidh na drochaidean fleodraidh suas ri 24 bàtaichean a ghabhail, le cuid dhiubh air an dùbhlachadh air acair. Tha uisge agus Wi-Fi ri làimh aig na pontùnan agus thathar a’ cur a-steach puingean cumhachd.  

Tha àireamhan luchd-tadhail gu taobh siar Leòdhais air meudachadh thar nan trì samhraidhean mu dheireadh ron ghalar-sgaoilte, le Tràigh Bhòsta, taigh Linn an Iarainn agus am Muileann Lochlannach nan cuspairean tarraingeach do luchd-turais.    

Tha dà obair ùr air an cruthachadh le taic bho HIE agus tha tuilleadh chothroman gan rannsachadh, a’ gabhail a-steach leasachadh air taigheadas aig prìs reusanta, gnothachas coimhearsnachd agus àite conaltraidh shòisealta.

Tha coimhearsnachd Bheàrnaraigh air a bhith ag obair a dh’ionnsaigh an coimhearsnachd chroitearachd a cheannach airson mòran bhliadhnaichean. Ma bhios iad soirbheachail, tha am buidheann a’ planadh ceumannan làidir a ghabhail gus an sruthadh a-mach air daoine òga a stad agus a thionndadh.  Tha an àireamh-sluagh gu làithreach aig 250, ach coltach ri mòran àiteachan eile tha an aois chuibheasach a’ meudachadh agus daoine òga a’ gluasad air falbh, agus càraidean air an dreuchd a leigeil dhiubh a’ gluasad a-steach.

Thuirt Natalie Chaimbeul, ceannard taic iomairt ann an sgioba sgìreil HIE Innse Gall:

“Tha e mìorbhaileach a bhith a’ faicinn nan goireasan aig cidhe Chirceboist a’ leudachadh.  Tha an leasachadh a’ neartachadh faotainneachd air goireasan seòlaidh do luchd-tadhail agus do mhuinntir na coimhearsnachd air taobh siar Leòdhais, mar sin a’ cuideachadh le barrachd luchd-tadhail a tharraing agus a’ neartachadh an cuid eòlais.

“Bheir an leasachadh taic do thurasachd mara le bhith a’ dèanamh na sgìre na ceann-uidhe nas tarraingiche dhaibhsan a tha a’ tighinn air a’ mhuir.  Cuidichidh e cuideachd le obair gnothachais ionadail agus le cruthachadh obraichean ùra.  Tha sinn air leth toilichte taic a chur ris a’ phròiseact coimhearsnachd seo, a tha a’ gnìomhachadh barrachd leasachaidh air a stiùireadh leis a’ choimhearsnachd san sgìre.”

Thuirt am Ministear Turasachd, Ivan McKee:

“Tha roinn turasachd Alba agus gu h-àraid ar roinn turasachd mara, de mhòr luach do na coimhearsnachdan dùthchail. Tha e fìor mhath fhaicinn gu bheil am pròiseact seo, a dh’ath-bheothaicheas agus a neartaicheas sgìre chugallach is iomallach Bheàrnaraigh le bhith a’ leudachadh nan goireasan a th’ ann mar-thà aig Innse Gall, air taic de £410,000 fhaighinn bho Mhaoin Tabhartais Calpa Ath-bheothachaidh a thuilleadh air £70,000 bho Iomairt na Gàidhealtachd ’s nan Eilean.

“Tha Riaghaltas na h-Alba fìor dhealasach mu neoini-lom a ruighinn ro 2045 agus tha e math na leasachaidhean sin fhaicinn a’ gabhail a-steach seirbheis rothairean dealain air màl agus puing teàirrdsidh charbadan dealain, a’ cuideachadh le ar targaidean gnàth-shìde a ruighinn.”

Thuirt Anne Ryan, Cathraiche GBCDT:

“Tha e fìor thlachdmhor a bhith a’ faicinn a’ phròiseict seo, a tha air a bhith fad còig bliadhna ag adhartachadh bho mhòr-mhiann gu buileachadh soirbheachail na ciad ìre. Tha sinn a’ coimhead air adhart ris an togalach ghoireasan fhosgladh nas fhaide air adhart am-bliadhna.    Tha sinn a’ planadh taigh-bìdh fo cheadachd deoch-làidir cuideachd, a bhrosnaicheas barrachd luchd-tadhail agus daoine a’ fuireach na h-oidhache aig na pontùnan.

“Aig an aon àm, tha ar n-oifigearan leasachaidh ag obair leis an Urras air pròiseactan eile gus spionnadh feumail às ùr a thoirt don choimhearsnachd agus cothroman obrach a ghintinn ann am Beàrnaraigh, agus tha sinn an dòchas cuideachd taigheadas aig prìs reusanta a sholarachadh. Ceadaichidh seo do bhuill den choimhearsnachd fuireach a’ còmhnaidh air an eilean agus a’ cur ri taicealachd coimhearsnachd agus àm teachdail nas dòchasaiche.

“A thuilleadh air maoineachadh bho HIE, tha am pròiseact a’ faotainn taic bho Mhaoin Ath-bheothachaidh Riaghaltas na h-Alba agus Comhairle nan Eilean Siar. Ar taing dhùrachdach don luchd-maoin gu lèir airson an taic agus an cuideachaidh gun choimeas tron ùine fhada leasachaidh air na leasachaidhean coimhearsnachd fhìor chudromach sin, agus airson seasamh leinn gu làidir tro throimh-chèile Covid agus an t-àrdachadh gun shamhail air cosgaisean togail.”  

Great Bernera set to become marine tourism hub

Marine tourism visitors to the Outer Hebrides are benefiting from a new link in the chain of facilities in west Lewis.

Great Bernera Community Development Trust (GBCDT) was awarded a £70,000 grant from Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) to help meet the cost of creating 12 berths for local boat use and deeper water berths for visiting yachts.

The first stage of the community-run pontoon at Kirkibost Pier, Great Bernera opened in Spring 2022 with the completion of the pontoon and a new electric bike hire service to encourage sustainable travel.

The second stage of currently undergoing works includes a utilities building, which is run, in part, by renewable energy to provide showers, toilets and laundrette facilities and an EV charge point. A new camper van hook up area will also be provided.

The newly improved access to the water encourages marine leisure visitors to embark and stay longer, stimulating business development and providing greater opportunities to conduct marine based activities.

At busy times the pontoons could accommodate up to 24 boats, with some double-berthed. Water and Wi-Fi is provided at the berths and power points are being installed.

Visitor numbers to west side of Lewis have increased over the last three summers pre-pandemic with Bosta Beach, the Iron Age house and the Norse Mill providing popular attractions for tourists.

Two new jobs have been created with the support from HIE and further opportunities are being explored including the development of affordable housing, a community business and social space. 

The Great Bernera community has been working towards a crofting community buyout for many years. If successful, the group plans to take urgent measures to reverse the outward flow of young people. The current population is around 250, however, like many other areas, the average age is increasing, as young people move away, and retired couples move in.

Natalie Campbell, head of enterprise support at HIE’s Innse Gall area team, said:

“It’s fantastic to see the facilities at Kirkibost pier expand. The development strengthens the availability of sailing facilities for visitors and local people on the west coast of Lewis, thereby helping attract more visitors and enhance their experience.

“The development will support marine tourism by making the area a more attractive visitor destination for those arriving by sea. It will also assist local business operations and create new jobs. We are really pleased to support this community-led project, which is catalysing further community-led development in the area.”

Tourism Minister Ivan McKee said:

“Scotland’s tourism sector and in particular, our marine tourism sector, is hugely valuable to rural communities. It’s great to see this project, which will reinvigorate and enhance the fragile and peripheral area of Great Bernera by expanding the available facilities at Innse Gall has been backed with £410,000 from the Regeneration Capital Grant Fund as well as £70,000 from Highlands and Islands Enterprise.

“The Scottish Government is fully committed to reaching net-zero by 2045 and it is great to see these developments include an electric bike hire service and an electric vehicle charging point, helping to reach our climate targets.”

Anne Ryan, Chair of the GBCDT, said:

“It’s most satisfying to see this project, which has been five years in advancing from an aspiration to the successful implementation of the first stage. We look forward to the opening of the facilities building later this year. We also plan a licensed restaurant, which will encourage more visitors and overnight stays at the pontoons.

“At the same time our development officers are working with the Trust on other projects to provide a much-needed boost to the community and generate job opportunities on Bernera and we also hope to provide affordable housing. This will allow members of our community to remain living on the island and will contribute to community cohesion and a brighter future.

“In addition to funding from HIE, the project is also being supported by the Scottish Government’s Regeneration Fund and Comhairle nan Eilean Siar. Our heartfelt thanks to all the funders for their invaluable support and assistance through the lengthy gestation of these massively important community developments, and for staying solidly by us through the Covid disruption and the unprecedented escalation of building costs.”