Local News for Friday 14th September 2018

Highlands and Islands Labour MSP, Rhoda Grant raised the question of the funding deal struck by the Government and CMAL for the MV Loch Seaforth directly with the newly appointed Minister for Energy, Connectivity and the Islands, Paul Wheelhouse in the Scottish Parliament recently.
Mrs Grant asked the Minister, " To ask the Scottish Government whether it plans to investigate the financing of the Calmac vessel, MV Loch Seaforth, which is now owned by Lloyds Banking Group, after a lease deal was agreed at a reported cost to the public purse of £53 million. The Minister responded by saying a “tender process for a lease was undertaken by that Caledonian Maritime Assests Ltd” he went on to say “Audit Scotland did not raise anything of concern regarding the procurement of the MV Loch Seaforth. The Scottish Government therefore has no plans to investigate the financing of the MV Loch Seaforth.”
The MSP concluded, ‘This fight is far from over as funding, late ferry replacement, capacity, lifeline services, tourism and ordinary island life is being treated with no consideration whatsoever by this Government as the ageing threadbare fleet of CMAL fails to cope.’

VisitScotland has launched a guide aimed at ‘set-jetting’ TV fans, with Outer Hebrides locations among those featured.
‘TV Set in Scotland’, produced by national tourism organisation visit Scotland, contains details of more than 60 television programmes, which have either been filmed in Scotland or have Scottish links.
The 36-page book ‘TV Set in Scotland’ will be available free of charge in attractions and VisitScotland Centres throughout the country and for download at visitscotland.com.
In keeping with the ‘TV guide’ format, it also has a selection of film highlights and contains special sections on Outlander, Doctor Who and famous Scottish small-screen characters, including Scrooge McDuck from DuckTales and Scotty from Star Trek.
In a specially written foreword, Peter May, author and co-creator of Machair, says Scotland’s “breath-taking scenery” makes it the “envy of the world”.
TV Set in Scotland aims to capitalise on the growing trend of set-jetting. Research shows that one in five visitors to Scotland have been inspired to visit the country after seeing locations on the big and small screen.
For more on TV and film productions shot in Scotland and to download TV Set in Scotland go to: www.visitscotland.com/film

Tomorrow, Saturday, 15th September, over 500 young musicians will showcase their talents and demonstrate their passion for Gaelic music alongside the top names in traditional music at the biggest event in Fèisean nan Gàidheal’s 30-year history.

With support from the Year of Young People 2018, the Blas Festival, organised by Fèisean nan Gàidheal with assistance from Bòrd na Gàidhlig, H.I.E , Comhairle nan Eilean Siar. with The Highland Council, are providing a platform to showcase outstanding young musical talent in a largescale showcase, Òran Mòr. The event will take place at the Northern Meeting Park in Inverness, Saturday 15th September.
The talented youngsters will share the stage with the bands they have chosen including traditional music supergroups Skipinnish, Trail West and Breabach and BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Award winners, Gaelic singer Mischa Macpherson and piper, Brìghde Chaimbeul.
For the full programme and visit www.blas-festival.com.

Also featuring live on Saturday night at 7.30pm as part Blas Festival in Stornoway is ‘Dolina @ 80’ an evening celebrating the birthday of career of Gaelic actress and singer Dolina Maclennan featuring guests, Pàdruig Morrison, Christine Primrose, Allan MacDonald, Seasaidh Lexy & Others in the Woodlands Centre, Stornoway 7.30pm tomorrow night.