The Scottish Government has awarded £2.3m of funding towards an ambitious scheme to regenerate large parts of the Newton and Goat Island areas. Total project cost is £9.1m and the Scottish Government grant of £2.3m along with a Comhairle contribution of £1m ensures that one third of the required project finance is already in place.
As the historic industries which formed the basis for Stornoway’s development over many decades have given way to new service industries, the heavy industrial heartland of the town, in the Newton area, has suffered decline with large Mill buildings becoming derelict. In response to this, the Comhairle and its Town Centre partners, Highlands & Islands Enterprise, Stornoway Port Authority, The Stornoway Trust and Lewis Castle College commissioned a new Masterplan for the Town Centre which was published late in 2017.
Known as ‘Stornoway Vision’, this Masterplan will take many years to deliver in full but this funding award from the Scottish Government represents a huge step forward in its realisation. The funding will be directed to three key sites: a) Goat Island where boat repair facilities will be enhanced, seafood processing facilities upgraded and a large community Marina formed in Newton Basin; b) Bells Road East Mill Complex where a local civils contractor and national vehicle parts franchise will develop new build Depot facilities; and, c) Caberfeidh Road / Cannery Road Mill Complex where existing warehousing will be developed into expansion space for a local organic skincare business and new Incubator Units for local businesses.
Meanwhile, work continues on delivery of the wider Stornoway Vision, elements of which include the new Deep Water Port at Arnish, a waterfront walkway around the entire town centre with new links to Lews Castle Grounds and a ‘Commercial Corridor’ running from Bayhead in the West to the Seaforth Road Media Village in the East.