Seven young local fishing skippers and first-time vessel owners across the Outer
Hebrides have been recommended for loans totalling over £300,000 from Comhairle nan
Eilean Siar’s Fisheries Investment Scheme (FIS).
All are aged below 40, with five being just 30 or under.
Three are from North Uist; one each in Benbecula and Barra while two are from Lewis.
Applicants are currently at various stages of the process, with formal decisions
yet to be made.
Donald Crichton, chairman of the Comhairle’s Sustainable Development Committee said:
“These applications will, if approved, bring much-needed sustainable employment to
the Uists and Barra in particular.
“It is extremely heartening to witness so many young, first-time owner/ skippers
across these islands bringing forward projects which support the continued development
of the Outer Hebrides’ fishing fleet.”
Mr Crichton continued: “The FIS, which operates as a revolving loan scheme that has
proven to be remarkably successful.
“That success is down to the innovative partnership between the Comhairle’s Business
Gateway service, WIFA and commercial lenders. Through that partnership approach close
to £1m has been invested by the Comhairle, over the past five years, in the modernisation
of the local fishing fleet. This is a significant and important investment in local
communities and in a critical sector of our local economy.
“I congratulate all those involved in FIS and I wish the young fishermen the best
of luck as they set up their new ventures”.