Local News for Thursday 31st March 2016

War Memorial facelift to begin
Work is due to start within weeks on a major renovation for the Lewis War Memorial, thanks to a grant of £132,000 just awarded from the War Memorial Trust's First World War Memorials Programme. Together with £100,000 from the Comhairle's capital allocation, this will allow significant restoration and repair works. Simpson and Brown Conservation Architects were appointed to prepare the pre-contract and tender process, with Flemings Masonry Contractors from Glasgow appointed as the successful contractor. Comhairle Convener and Chair of the Local Remembrance Group, Cllr Norman A MacDonald, said: "The Lewis War Memorial has been one of the most iconic buildings in our islands since it was opened on Friday 24th September 1924. More than two thousand people gathered that day to witness the opening of the Memorial, dedicated to Lewismen and women who had lost their lives fighting for their country. Due to its prominent unsheltered spot on the top of Cnoc-nan-uan, the building has suffered damage to its stonework over the years, due to the Lewis weather. It is very important that we maintain such buildings, which are a constant reminder to us all of the sacrifices made by so many islanders." The works are expected to start in April and will include pointing, stone replacement, replacement of windows and restoration to overhanging turrets and the turret steps. It is envisaged that the work will take most of the summer.

Nominees’ deadline tomorrow
Prospective candidates for the Scottish Parliament have until 4pm tomorrow to deliver nomination papers to the Constituency Returning Officer at the Council Offices on Sandwick Road. Prospective candidates also have to lodge a £500 deposit in order to stand, and if the election is contested the poll will take place on Thursday 5th May.
Music students flock to Stornoway
Fourth year honours music students from across the Highlands and Islands are due in Stornoway from April 19th to the 22nd for their final residency before graduating in Applied Music this summer. The week will include a showcase concert and performances on Wednesday 20th and Thursday 21st at An Lanntair.  Students will also join workshops delivered by expert local musicians and artists, including psalm-singing with Calum Martin, step dance classes and a song-writing workshop with Willie Campbell. The Applied Music degree is innovative and practical, with modules delivered online and through video conferences. Students tailor their study around their professional development, so they can teach, tour and rehearse at the same time as studying. Lews Castle College UHI Pirncipal Iain MacMillan said: “We are proud to be the lead academic partner delivering one of the most ambitious and innovative degree programmes in the UK and we look forward to hearing our music students perform”.