Local News for Friday 17th November 2017

An Lanntair’s Alex is Gaelic champion
The head of performing arts at An Lanntair arts centre, Alex Macdonald, has been honoured with an award for supporting appreciation of Gaelic culture. Alex was presented with the Arts and Culture Award, sponsored by Creative Scotland, for the most outstanding contribution to Gaelic culture in 2016/17. The award was presented at a ceremony at the Grand Central Hotel in Glasgow on Wednesday night. An Lanntair is still in line for a further award in 2017, with their nomination for an MG Alba Trad award as live venue of the year to be decided by public vote. Voting for that closes next Friday, November 24th, and other local nominees include Josie Duncan, who has two nominations for her folk due with Pablo Lafuente, and with the band Inyal. You can find a link to vote in NaTrads via our Facebook page.

Inverness buses – book early for Christmas
Travellers on the Ullapool-Inverness coach route are being urged to book ahead for coaches over the busy Christmas and New Year period, despite extra capacity being agreed by Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, Scottish Citylink and the Highlands and Islands Regional Transport Partnership (HITRANS). A trial scheme over the summer is now being extended to the end of the year, with coach operator Scottish Citylink saying they put 48 extra coaches on over the summer, giving extra capacity when they knew it was needed more than 48 hours in advance of the departure time. As the coach operator runs the service on a commercial basis without any public sector investment, it cannot guarantee that it can add in extra vehicles to the route with less than 48 hours' notice. Cllr Uisdean Robertson, Chair of the Comhairle's Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, said, "Our collaboration with Scottish Citylink and HITRANS over the summer months proved very successful in reducing the likelihood of passengers being stranded in either Inverness or Ullapool. We do however need to emphasise again that, for operational reasons, this additional capacity cannot in any way be completely guaranteed by the operator and passengers should make every effort to book as far in advance as possible of when they intend to travel from either Inverness or Ullapool".

Successful livestock sale
United Auctions held their annual late autumn sale of cattle and sheep last week at Lochboisdale Auction Mart, with a marathon 11-hour sale seeing 491 cattle and 956 sheep and lambs sold. The auctioneers said it was undoubtedly the biggest one-day entry of stock they had seen for the market, which serves livestock breeders in Barra, Eriskay, South Uist, Benbecula and North Uist. Trade was brisk and prices good, with sellers returning home happy.