Deputy First Minister opens new port of entry

Deputy First Minister John Swinney opening the new port of entry at Lochboisdale, September 5, 2015.
Deputy First Minister John Swinney opening the new port of entry at Lochboisdale, September 5, 2015.

The £10 million Lochboisdale port of entry was officially opened by Deputy First Minister John Swinney on September 5.

The major regeneration project being taken forward by community organisation Stòras Uibhist has created new marine leisure facilities and provided access to land for community, residential and commercial development at Lochboisdale, South Uist.

Two causeways and two breakwaters have been completed as part of the project, in addition to a road along Rubha Bhuailt to Gasaigh Island, a new fishery pier, a slipway, pontoon berths and facilities for fishermen and leisure sailors.

The project, which could not have happened without community ownership, secured funding from a number of sources.

Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE), the lead funder supported the project through the feasibility and design stage, before committing £5m to the construction phase.

Comhairle nan Eilean Siar contributed grant and loan funding in addition to grant funding from The Scottish Government, ERDF and BIG Lottery, which has been key to delivery of this ambitious project. Stòras Uibhist also committed £1m of its own funds to the project.

Alex Paterson from HIE, said: “We have worked with Stòras Uibhist from the buyout of the Estate in 2006, through to delivery of this incredibly ambitious project.

“It is particularly impressive that this significant project has been completed in such a short time frame and has been delivered within budget.

“It has the potential to transform the local economy and make a significant contribution to the area’s growth, resilience and cohesion.”

John MacMillan, Chairman of Lochboisdale Development Ltd, said: “This project is the first stage in delivering a long-term regeneration vision for Lochboisdale and the Uists and we look forward to working with our partners going forward to further enhance these excellent facilities.”

Huw Francis, Chief Executive of Stòras Uibhist added, “The development at Lochboisdale has been a long held ambition for the community.

“Construction of this ambitious project was managed by the Stòras Uibhist team and completion of these facilities demonstrates what can be achieved by a community which controls its own land, and has access to the resources necessary to develop the island and its economy.”