A major contract to design one of the biggest projects ever undertaken in the Outer Hebrides was awarded yesterday.
Marine consulting civil engineers Wallace Stone was chosen for the first phase of a deep-water port, which is part of Stornoway Port Authority’s 20-year masterplan and aimed at creating significant economic growth by attracting bigger cruise ships to the islands.
The development has the potential to create more than 200 jobs throughout the Outer Hebrides and have a major impact on tourism in the islands.
The contract award was announced during a visit to the port by local government secretary Aileen Campbell.
She said: “Our coastal seas are a central feature of Scotland’s economy and our plans for job creation and economic growth. Remote communities in particular benefit from marine tourism which generates additional business, jobs and prosperity.
“The creation of a new deep-water facility, which will allow cruise ships to berth alongside, will have a positive effect on the wider economy for years to come.”
It is hoped construction on the deep-water port could start early in 2020, with a target for completion by mid-2021.
The development is crucial to accelerate local growth in the burgeoning cruise business, by providing improved facilities for larger ships that cannot currently berth alongside.