Local News for Wednesday 24th October 2018

The major economic impact of the Hebridean Celtic Festival and its key role in bringing visitors to the islands is again underlined in a new report by MKA Economics.

The 2018 HebCelt had all four nights sold out and overall attendances reached nearly 18,000 over the four days of the event, its highest ever number, with an estimated total in excess of 7,500 paying festival goers.

56 per cent of the audience came from outside Lewis and Harris, including five per cent from outwith the UK. In all, 66 per cent of visitors from outside Scotland said HebCelt was the sole or main reason for travelling to Lewis and 70 per cent said they were likely to return.

97 per cent of the audience said their overall experience at the event had been excellent or good.

Overall, the festival directly generated net economic effect of £2.1 million, which has helped safeguard 38 tourism-related jobs.

The Public are advised that on Friday 26th October that there is to be an official opening of the Garden of Remembrance at the Drill Hall in Stornoway.
This is a unique occasion and fitting as we approach the 100th anniversary of the guns falling silent.

The opening of the Garden of Remembrance will take place at 11am Friday at the Drill Hall and all are invited to attend. The ceremony will be a simple affair that will be officially opened by the Lord Lieutenant of the Western Isles, Mr Donald Martin.

People are then welcome to place a wooden cross in memory of a lost loved one

The prospects of those qualifying through Highlands and Islands colleges are continuing to increase according to the Scottish Funding Council’s annual College Leaver Destinations report. The publication reports on the destinations of those who left college in the 2016 to 2017 academic year.

The findings show that 25.9% of leavers from Highlands and Islands colleges went into employment after their studies. This is 5.9% above the national average of 20% and also represents an increase from the previous year’s regional figure of 24.5%.

Including those who went onto further study, 94.8% of leavers from Highlands and Islands were reported to have gone on to positive destinations.

Dr Michael Foxley, chair of the Highland and Islands Further Education Regional Board, said:

“I am delighted to read this audited outcome. It reflects the sustained work carried out by the colleges which make up the University of the Highlands and Islands to give our students the positive outcomes they need and deserve for the future.”