The £10 million Lochboisdale port of entry project was officially opened by Deputy First Minister John Swinney on Saturday.
The regeneration project led by Stòras Uibhist has created new marine leisure facilities and provided access to land for community, residential and commercial development and saw the creation of two causeways and breakwaters in addition to a road along Rubha Bhuailt to Gasaigh Island, a new fishery pier, slipway, pontoon berths and facilities for fishermen and leisure sailors.
Financial support for the project came from chiefly Highlands and Islands Enterprise through the feasibility and design stage in addition to a £5million grant to the construction phase while Comhairle nan Eilean Siar contributed grant and loan funding. Grants were also secured from the Scottish Government/ERDF and the Big Lottery while Stòras Uibhist also committed £1million of its own funds to the project.
Huw Francis, chief executive of Stòras Uibhist said: “The development at Lochboisdale has been a long held ambition for the community. Construction of this ambitious project was managed by the Stòras Uibhist team and completion of these facilities demonstrates what can be achieved by a community which controls its own land, and has access to the resources necessary to develop the island and its economy.”
Lochboisdale Development Ltd chairman John MacMillan commented: “We are delighted that this major development has been completed and is now open for business. It will provide the necessary infrastructure to grow marine leisure tourism in Lochboisdale and the Western Isles, as well as open up land for business development and community housing, building infrastructure for the fisheries and aquaculture industries and the marine tourism. This project is the first stage in delivering a long-term regeneration vision for Lochboisdale and the Uists and we look forward to working with our partners going forward to further enhance these excellent facilities.”