The Uist Economic Taskforce UET) Working Group met recently in Uist to continue to progress a range of key strategic projects and initiatives.
Cllr. Iain A. MacNeil, Chairman of the UET Working Group said after the meeting, “I was pleased to see good progress being made across a range of projects such as the Balivanich Regeneration project, Spaceport 1 and the Uist Virtual Archaeology Project. Housing remains a key priority and we are delighted to note that funding had been secured for a two year post for a Housing Development Officer for Uist and Barra to explore ways in which the demands for future housing for residents and businesses alike can be addressed.
This activity ties in well with other recent announcements regarding the appointment of a Community Development Officer for three years for the North Uist and Benbecula Locality Planning Partnership to refresh the action plan and update priorities, and the excellent news in recent days regarding £3m of funding from Scottish Government for the Cnoc Soilleir project.”
The meeting also heard updates from Stòras Uibhist and the newly formed Uist and Barra Community Energy Forum.
Of particular concern to the UET Working Group is the on-going situation regarding HIAL and the desperate situation regarding ferry services. Cllr MacNeil commented, “We’ve been encouraging as many people as possible the sign the Uist Economic Taskforce petition to ‘Introduce community representation on boards of public organisations delivering lifeline services to island communities.
Everyone can see that the removal of HIAL jobs from Uist is a disaster for our fragile community. I will be making further representation to the Scottish Government on this issue and with regard to our lifeline ferry services. As this community faces up to the economic and social fallout of Covid-19, we want to put all our efforts in to recovery activities and reimagining a new economic strategy for Uist. I urge the newly elected Scottish Government to make these matters their top priority after the election.”