Local News for Wednesday 25th October 2017
Celebrating the ultimate in books
The Hebridean Book Festival, Faclan, begins today, with a programme celebrating the ancient idea of Ultima Thule, the place beyond the borders of the known world. A four-day programme of film, lectures, book launches and events for children will open up this mysterious world, bringing ghostly happenings to the autumn evenings, and discovery of all kinds of extreme environments, from mountain tops to lost worlds. Today’s programme opens with two films, one exploring the mysterious inner world of South Uist grass-weaver Angus MacPhee, and the second Werner Herzog’s masterpiece, Aguirre: The Wrath of God, following a band of conquistadors as they search for El Dorado. Later this evening Western Isles writers’ group launches their new anthology, Beyond Words, and there’s a discussion of the place of photography in the work of Stornoway-based publishers Acair, who celebrate their 40th anniversary this year. For a full programme of the next four days, go to An Lanntair’s website and look for Faclan.
Read more: Local News for Wednesday 25th October 2017
Local News for Tuesday 24th October 2017
Small business key to island success
Nearly twice as many working islanders are self-employed than in the rest of Scotland, according to a submission to government made yesterday by the Federation of Small Businesses in Scotland. FSB Scotland is to tell a committee at Holyrood that island businesses want younger local populations, better transport links and much improved broadband. Their calls are based on research with 275 island firms, carried out in the Western Isles, Shetland, Orkney and others of the 93 inhabited Scottish islands ahead of planned legislation aimed at giving island authorities new powers. David Richardson, the FSB’s Development Manager for the Highlands and Islands said: “The prosperity of a local place is intertwined with the ongoing success of its local business community. While this rings true across the country, it is particularly the case for Scotland’s island communities.” FSB highlights census data showing that 13 per cent of Scottish island residents work for themselves, in comparison to a national average of 7 per cent. Keeping young people in the islands, providing good services for tourists and improving connectivity are all issues they highlight. Mr Richardson is giving evidence to the Rural Economy committee tomorrow. He said: “Our research shows that one in five islands business owners has considered moving to the mainland. To state the obvious, the long-term success of island communities require their local private sectors to thrive, to power job creation, local growth and to retain and attract younger residents.”
Read more: Local News for Tuesday 24th October 2017