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Hebrides News


Talks are being held in Lewis today between union leaders, enterprise agency HIE and Comhairle nan Eilean Siar about the future of the Arnish yard.


The last contract is finished and no manufacturing work is available for the site which is due to be deserted within weeks.


Arnish is due to close in March. The site is down to 30 employees – vastly reduced from a peak of 160 people just three months ago.


Today, the last unit produced there - a transition deck for an offshore turbine foundation - is ready to be shipped out.


Next week the workforce will be reduced to about eight people it is believed


All are expected to be gone next month.


Council leader Roddie Mackay highlighted the local authority impressed upon the Scottish Government it is “willing to help in any way we can.”


He stressed any loss of jobs is a heavy blow to the islands and the “magnitude involved is very significant to the small economy” of the Western Isles.


“That’s why the council is making every effort to see if we can find a good solution and a good outcome of what is a very difficult situation.”


Matt Bruce, chair of the local Western Isles Labour Party, highlighted: “Whilst it is a statutory 45-day notice across BiFab it is the end for the jobs at Arnish.”


He believes the crisis underlines the “lack of any long-term planning” in Scotland to promote renewable energy projects despite the islands’ huge wind resource.




Talks over Arnish as yard to close next month

14 February 2018