West Harris Enterprise Centre underway

The proposed centre.

The proposed centre.

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Construction work started last week on the new West Harris Community Enterprise Centre at Pairc Niseaboist, Horgabost, Isle of Harris.

The 500m² centre will incorporate a community venue and meeting place, restaurant, office space, business/studio space and exhibition area.

This is a major project for the West Harris Trust to provide 21st century facilities for the local community. At the time of estate purchase by the community in 2010 there were no bespoke community facilities and no business space to stimulate economic development.

Local resident Donald John MacKay of the Luskentyre Harris Tweed Company sat at the helm of an excavator to mark the official start to work on site. Donald John is renowned for his championing of the Harris Tweed industry including selling to Nike. The Trust hopes that activities in the completed centre will display a similar entrepreneurial spirit.

The build contract worth £1.55m is being delivered by Stornoway-based John Murray & Co following a competitive tendering process and is due to be complete by March 2016.

Chair of West Harris Trust Murdo MacKay said “This project will transform opportunities for social and economic development on the west side of Harris and will be a great asset to the local community”.

The Trust is extremely grateful to the Big Lottery Fund, Coastal Communities Fund, Highland & Islands Enterprise, Scottish Government Regeneration Capital Grant Fund, Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, the Robertson Trust and the Scottish Hydro-Electric Trust for the funding that has made this project possible.