Local News for Thursday 2nd November 2017

Gaelic champions announced as finalists
Finalists have been announced in the annual Scottish Gaelic awards, and they include familiar names in island cultural circles. An Lanntair’s head of performing arts, Alex Macdonald, is shortlisted for the arts and culture award, sponsored by Creative Scotland, and Comunn Eachdraidh Nis is a finalist in the event award category. Stornoway-based e-sgoil has been shortlisted in the innovation in education award category, which supports creative ideas to deliver Gaelic education. Winners will be announced on November 15th at the Grand Central Hotel in Glasgow.

Big night for awards
Two island success stories will find out tomorrow evening whether prestigious tourism awards are coming home to Lewis and Harris, as winners are announced in the Highlands and Islands tourism awards 2017. Hebridean Celtic Festival is in line for an accolade as best cultural event or festival of the year, and the Isle of Harris Distillery in Tarbert is one of the candidates as best visitor attraction. The awards will be presented at a gala evening at the Drumossie Hotel in Inverness.

Football winners night
Here at home there’s a chance to celebrate local sporting talent tomorrow, as Lewis & Harris Football League awards are held at Carloway Community Centre from 8pm. Carloway FC players will be presented with their league winners medals for 2017 and Tom Maciver will host the night, which closes with a fundraising race night.

Angus Macleod Memorial Lecture
Tonight sees a technical revolution for the annual Angus Macleod Memorial Lecture, to be delivered by Donalda MacKinnon, Director of BBC Scotland. Donalda will be speaking at e-Sgoil on Francis Street, Stornoway, but the talk will be linked to other venues in the islands, and to interested listeners worldwide, using live web-streaming. The annual lecture is aimed at continuing Angus Macleod’s legacy as well as drawing further attention to the rich store of materials bequeathed by his family and now available at the museum and archive at Ravenspoint. Donnie Morrison of Comunn Eachdraidh na Pàirc, which has organised the annual lecture over the last 13 years in conjunction with the Islands Book Trust and the family of Angus ‘Ease’ Macleod MBE, said: ‘I am delighted that Donalda MacKinnon has found time in her busy schedule to give this year’s memorial lecture. She is an excellent speaker with an intimate knowledge of the islands, and, in partnership with e-Sgoil, we are now able to change the format of the lecture to reach more people in many different locations and to allow greater audience participation.”

Harris marina is ‘last link’
The new marina now ready to open in Harris is the last link making up a chain of top-notch marine facilities along the east coast of the Outer Hebrides, according to Highlands and Islands Enterprise. Harris Marina Hub offers two pontoon facilities - one at East Loch Tarbert and the other at the Isle of Scalpay’s North Harbour. Up to ninety vessels can berth on the pontoons, which are open to visiting leisure boats, existing marine businesses and locally-based boat-owners. The development was completed with help from a grant of £220,000 from HIE. Harris Development Ltd (HDL) has led on the £1.3m project, which will expand marine tourism and bring economic benefits to the area. The hub completes a chain of pontoon facilities including Stornoway, Lochmaddy, Lochboisdale and Castlebay, which will strengthen the reputation of the Outer Hebrides as a premium sailing and cruising destination.