Local News for Tuesday 7th August 2018

Stornoway Crofters to Bid in Wind Turbine Auction
The four crofting townships campaigning for the right to develop community-owned wind farms in Stornoway have announced their intention to bid in the Contract for Differences (CfD) auction in May.
The four townships which will be bidding are Sandwick North Street, Sandwick East Street, Melbost & Branahuie and Aignish – which have all lodged Section 50b applications with the Crofting Commission for permission to go ahead with the developments on their common grazings.

The townships will be bidding in the ‘Remote Island Wind’ pot in the CfD auction and will be going head-to-head against bigger schemes planned for the Isle of Lewis. Lewis Wind Power (composed of French multinational EDF in partnership with Wood Group) will be looking for a subsidy for their Stornoway and Uisenis wind farms, while Forsa Energy will be looking for a subsidy for Tolsta.
Altogether, the four crofting townships hope to develop 21 turbines, with a total output of 105MW. Although that comprises four different schemes, they all meet or exceed the 5MW threshold for eligibility into the CfD scheme.
North Street is planning one turbine of 5MW, while Aignish is planning two (10MW total), Melbost eight (40MW) and East Street 10 (50MW). The locations of the turbines exactly match the approved locations for 21 of the 36 turbines belonging to LWP’s Stornoway wind farm.
Their fight with Lewis Wind Power will be determined by the Scottish Land Court – it will decide on LWP’s Section 19a application for approval as well as the townships’ application
to the Crofting Commission under Section 50b –and is already being regarded as a test case.

Hebcelt 2019 Tickets on Sale!
Advance tickets for the 2019 Hebridean Celtic Festival are now on sale in order to meet demand from fans following this year’s record-breaking event.
The 2018 HebCelt, held last month in Stornoway, was hailed as the most successful in its 23-year history after all four nights were sold out.
Early bird weekend tickets for arena shows on 18-20 July next year are available from the festival website.
In a new move for next year, in order to improve the customer experience for the younger festival-goers, HebCelt has added a youth ticket banding and restructured the costs for under-18s. This includes adding in a nominal charge for tickets for children up to six years old, with income from this source being donated to Macmillan Cancer Support, HebCelt’s nominated charity.
Day tickets and those for opening shows, late night activities and community events in Lewis and Harris go on sale next year when the full festival programme is finalised.
Festival director Caroline Maclennan said: “Demand for tickets for next year is already very strong and we want to make sure our local and international audience have the best chance to attend”.
More than half the HebCelt audience came from outside the islands, and from as far afield as Australia, Canada and the US as well as across Europe, including many returning families.

An Lanntair’s Launches Purvai 2018 Programme
Stornoway Arts Centre An Lanntair has launched its programme promoting closer cultural and social ties with all things South Asian as Purvai 2018 gets underway this month with a whole host of internationally acclaimed artists performing on the Island.
The festival brings South Asian dance, music, writing, textiles and food to the Outer Hebrides in an eclectic arts festival, celebrating Scotland’s diversity of connections with India.
Leading on from last year’s widely acclaimed festival and the world-first exhibition of the Colin Mackenzie Collection in Stornoway, Purvai 2018 promises a spectacular programme for this year’s festival. The headline event will be a ‘Summer Evening of Indian Raag’ on Friday 17th August, featuring one of the most highly acclaimed female Indian vocalists in the UK today, Deepa Nair Rasiya. Full details can be found on An Lanntair’s website.