AN ‘unimaginable resurgence’ in the Harris Tweed industry was celebrated at the weekend by the Lord Lieutenant of the Western Isles, Sandy Matheson, who is also a former chairman of the Harris Tweed Authority.
Mr Matheson was performing the opening ceremony at a new store in the centre of Stornoway for Harris Tweed Hebrides, the Shawbost-based company which accounts for around 90 per cent of Harris Tweed production.
He described the company, founded less than five years ago, as “prestigious and progressive” and credited it with turning around the industry’s fortunes.
“I am glad to be able to participate in this opening ceremony,” Mr Matheson continued: “Not only in order to be associated with such success but also to express the island’s gratitude for the manner in which your efforts have revitalised the entire Harris Tweed industry.
“Through a judicious blend of investment capital and traditional skill, Harris Tweed Hebrides have created an almost unimaginable resurgence in the economic importance and international reputation of this industry which, throughout the 20th century,
was so fundamentally vital to our island economy.”
Mr Matheson also welcomed the “transformation” of Stornoway Town Centre which has seen extensive redevelopment work in recent years.
He said: “This has been achieved by the splendidly constructive partnership involving the resident businesses, Stornoway Amenity Trust and Comhairle nan Eilean Siar.
“This in itself is a matter for tribute and congratulations and on behalf of the public I voice our gratitude and appreciation to all of these agencies.”