Local News for Thursday 20th April 2017

Marathon live broadcast rewards patient listeners
A 24-hour live broadcast is to bring Isles FM back with a bang tomorrow, as the community radio station celebrates a return to the air. Isles FM has been broadcasting music and regular programmes since the weekend, but the marathon live broadcast is planned to reward patient listeners who’ve had to put up with ‘radio silence’ while fundraising for a new transmitter took place. From 7.30am tomorrow there’ll be a constant flow of music, chat, live interviews and drop-in guests, with regular volunteers taking shifts in the presenter’s chair all through the day and night. The bumper broadcast kicks off with Duisg, the breakfast show tomorrow, and will see Kathleen Maciver, Uilleam Macleod, Carl Easton, Maggie Smith, Norman Campbell, Iain Maciver and Stella, Allan Smithyman and finally Calum Macdonald each taking their turn for shows that stretch beyond the 24 hours and well into Saturday. The event’s been scheduled by Crazy Carl Easton, who promises surprises as well as the well-known mix of music, chat and local information for which the station is known. Carl said: “We may have been quiet for a while, but I promise this 24 hour Friday is going to make up for it!”

Wee Studio makes the big leap
The Stornoway-based sound studio Wee Studio are about to take a big leap – with the opening of Wee Studio’s Bunker in Benbecula on June 1st. Wee Studio has been trading for nearly 10 years, offering top class sound facilities to emerging talent in the islands, and to visiting bands and musicians. Business owner Keith Morrison said: “Our ethos is to enhance the entire local creative scene and  we are looking to work with all musicians, music tutors, venues, and recording creatives in audio and video”. The new studio, linked by internet to the Stornoway facility, is housed in a former nuclear bunker and will offer rehearsal, tutorial and recording space.
MSPs call for Uig pier investment
MSPs Alasdair Allan and Kate Forbes have written to Caledonian Maritime Assets Ltd (CMAL) to urge increased investment in Uig pier in the Isle of Skye, as CMAL reviews the infrastructure on the Uig, Tabery and Lochmaddy trianle route. The MSPs, who represent the Western Isles and the Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch constituencies, are responding during CMAL’s public meetings on the design and build of the new dual fuel vessel for the Uig Triangle route. They say that local community groups and businesses have raised concerns about the pier, with service disruption attributed to the pier’s alignment. Dr Allan said he was ‘impressed’ with the designs for the new vessel, but added: “There are concerns about the ability to bring vessels alongside in Uig, particularly in a south-westerly wind. This can obviously be highly disruptive to passengers coming from Uist and Harris. With £97 million being spent on two new dual ferries - one of which is earmarked for the Uig triangle – it makes sense that changes are made to Uig to make it more accessible.”
Two weeks to get student funding
There’s just two weeks until the deadline for would-be students interested in fully-funded PhD studentships at the University of the Highlands and Islands. The studentships are being funded by the European Social Fund and Scottish Funding Council, with places available to study topics including digital technologies in healthcare, the history of distilling and whisky production, eco-tourism, salmon farming in Scotland and the impact of the nuclear industry on British communities. Candidates have until 12 noon on Monday 8th May to make their application, with successful candidates starting in October and both fees and living expenses covered. To find out more about the individual projects and to apply, visit the UHI website.