Comhairle nan Eilean Siar has warmly welcomed a Scottish Government announcement of funding for the new Castlebay Project which will take forward innovative proposals for essential education, health and social care services to be provided on Barra and Vatersay in high-quality provision with well-trained and specialist staff.
There are two separate major investment projects being proposed for Barra and Vatersay. Firstly the Comhairle is looking to replace Castlebay and Eoligarry Schools as part of the development of a learning and community facilities hub for Barra and Vatersay. Secondly, NHS Western Isles, in collaboration with Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, is developing proposals which will see the replacement of the St Brendan’s Hospital and Care Home.
The Comhairle has committed £7M to the project from its Capital Programme.
Cllr Roddie Mackay, Comhairle Leader, said: “The Scottish Government, Scottish Futures Trust, the Comhairle and NHS Western Isles are working together to jointly support the people of Barra in having access to these services in what is a very positive development. This represents a fantastic economic and employment opportunity for Barra and Vatersay and has the potential to support social, economic and population regeneration. We hope that this type of local development will become a model for service provision elsewhere in the Outer Hebrides and throughout rural Scotland as an example of what can be achieved through collaboration between agencies.
“We would also like to place on record our thanks to The Scottish Government for all their support on this project and look forward to building on that over the coming years on other innovative projects and in working towards a Single Island Partnership.”