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Hebrides News


A design concept for an Iolaire visitor centre has been unveiled.


Plans are being advanced to create a world class facility to commemorate what is Britain’s worst peacetime maritime disaster


Over 200 men died when the Admiralty yacht HMY Iolaire ran aground on the Beasts of Holm on the approach to Stornoway harbour in the early hours of the first of January 1919.


The majority were sailors from Lewis and Harris returning home from the First World War.


The multi-million pound visitor centre would tell the story of the disaster and form part of the legacy of the centenary commemorations.


It aims to be an iconic building to rank in the top five visitor experiences in Scotland.


One possibility is locating the facility on the present car park area at number one pier, close to where the returning servicemen set off and where the Iolaire was due to berth.


The visitor centre is being progressed by businessman Stewart Graham.


Mr Graham said the “important project, 100 years after this most terrible tragedy, will provide a lasting legacy to the memory of the men who lost their lives.


“We should expect that what we create will encourage people from all over the UK and further afield to make visits to the island to take in this visitor experience as part of an island visit.


“Not only would this be a lasting testament, but the centre would provide a major, transformational, economic boost for the islands.”


“We should all be proud of the project and how we tell the story. We should be proud of those who were lost and who survived.”


Plans for Iolaire visitor centre

28 February 2018

One idea of how the centre may look