Local News for Wednesday 23rd March 2016

Library café closes tomorrow
Stornoway’s popular and bustling library coffee shop will close tomorrow for good, just a month after councillors agreed to seek alternatives to closure during the budget-setting process. Following February’s round of meetings, the Comhairle announced that the loss-making coffee shop would be offered as a franchise, instead of being closed. Now two staff have taken voluntary redundancy, and two are being redeployed within the council, the coffee shop closing its doors tomorrow afternoon. Coffee shop manager June Lafferty said: “It’s a real shame and people are gutted, because it’s a great service right in the middle of the town. It’s a meeting place for many, especially the older folk. There’s a chance it will re-open as a franchise operation but I don’t expect that to happen.”

Bayhead PO future uncertain
An uncertain future for Bayhead Post Office has also led to the departure of two long-serving staff members, who finished work yesterday, citing insecurity of their jobs as a reason to go. No decision has yet been taken on the Post Office and the Trading Post shop in the same building.
Machair find could date back centuries
Archaeological fragments found on the Swainbost machair could date back as far as the age of the Picts, according to historians at Comunn Eachdradh Nis (Ness Historical Society). Fragments of bone combs and worked metal were picked up from the machair by crofter Donald MacSween, who said: “We were out with a pupil from Lionel school and had arranged for archaeologist Chris Barrowman to come with us, as he would know what to look for. We were having a look at a site that had been eroded by the wind over the winter and found the two pieces of comb sitting on the surface.” Chris Barrowman said the area was known as a possible historical site, but fragments were now beginning to come to light. Early villages in the Ness area were much closer to the sea. The pieces, which have been sent away for analysis, could be as early as late Pictish, Norse or medieval, with a possible date range from 500BC to 1500AD.
Horshader wins empowering support
Horshader Community Development Trust is to share in £10.8 million of funding to address inequalities in disadvantaged communities, from the People and Communities Fund in 2016/17. The community-led regeneration trust will use the funds to provide advice and support to those living in the area. Horshader is the only Western Isles project among 190 Scotland-wide to receive support, with their exact allocation of funds to be announced later.
Businesses go digital
Businesses wanting ot learn more about digital tools for success are being invited to join workshops called DigitalBoost, run by Business Gateway In Stornoway on April 6th and Balivanich on April 7th, business owners can learn how to develop a social media strategy and how to get their website noticed.  For more information, contact the Business Gateway office on 01851 822775