Local News for Thursday 3rd November 2016
2016 HebCelt ‘big boost for islands’
The 21st birthday celebration for Hebridean Celtic Festival didn’t just offer a cause for celebration in July, but a lasting impact on island economoy, according to new figures released today. Am economic impact report says the HebCelt 21 generated more than £2.2 million for the islands’ economy and helped safeguard 40 tourism-related jobs. The 21st festival, headlined by Runrig, was held from 13-16 July in Stornoway and was the most successful in its history. Over 7,500 paying guests visited the festival during its four days and overall attendances reached 17,830. Today’s survey, commissioned by Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE), found that 63 per cent of festival goers came from outside Lewis and Harris, with almost three quarters saying they were only here to attend HebCelt. Visitors from Europe, the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand added to those from elsewhere in the UK to bring money in to the islands, spending an average of £500 each during their stay, with the bulk of it (78 per cent) helping the islands’ economy. Public subsidy invested in the festival was £120,000, bringing in £18 for every £1 from the public sector. Festival director Caroline Maclennan said: “This new report demonstrates that HebCelt makes a huge contribution to island life in many ways. It is vitally important to the economic wellbeing of the islands as well as enhancing our culture and creative talents”.
Read more: Local News for Thursday 3rd November 2016
Local News for Wednesday 2nd November 2016
Callanish stones centre – bigger and better
A multi-million pound extension plan has been unveiled for the Callanish Stones visitor centre, as tourist numbers swell each year. The popular centre – and the stones themselves – are on the itinerary of every coach tour and, with cruise ship numbers going up, there’s a need for more space within the centre. Now the trust which manages the site, Urras nan Tursachan, has unveiled drawings and plans for a £4 million upgrade which will expand café, toilets, kitchens and the display itself, with new interpretation. You can see the plans on display at the visitor centre, and inside Museum nan Eilean at Lews Castle.
Read more: Local News for Wednesday 2nd November 2016