Loss-making Nicolson Kabin could be set for closure

Councillors in the Western Isles will this week be asked to approve closure of The Kabin catering facility at the Nicolson Institute, after a Comhairle report claimed that ‘the costs of currently providing the Kabin service are greater than the income received’.

The Comhairle’s report, which will be considered by councillors at this week’s meeting of the Education, Skills and Children’s Services Committee, states that the closure would be part of ‘a review of the service for efficiency savings to meet the schools catering budget shortfall’, and consideration has been given as to where savings can be made ‘without it affecting the service to the pupils’.

The Comhairle’s report states that four members of staff are currently employed in The Kabin, one of whom is on a fixed term contract to 28 June 2019, and others will face redeployment or redundancy ‘in the event redeployment is not secured’.

The Kabin was established as an additional catering outlet for pupils in August 2013, with planning permission for the unit granted until May 2019. It currently caters for an average of 131 children per day using the cashless catering system.