The Western Isles will need to find a new lead officer for health and social care, with the imminent departure of Dr Ron Culley from his post at Cùram Is Slàinte, the Western Isles Integration Joint Board (IJB).

Dr Culley has been chief officer of the IJB – which brings together health board and council work on a range of services including social work, housing support and community nursing – since it was set up almost five years ago.

He's leaving the Western Isles for a new job as chief executive of Quarriers, a 150-year-old charity which provides care and support for vulnerable adults and children across Scotland. The charity made the announcement of his appointment on Tuesday 28 January.

Local councils will be given new powers to licence and limit the number of short-term lets, such as AirBnB.


Na h-Eileanan an Iar SNP MSP Alasdair Allan has backed this announcement from the Scottish Government.


A recent study commissioned by the Scottish Government into AirBnB showed that the Western Isles had the second greatest increase in registered properties behind only Edinburgh.

The restored Outer Hebrides Chamber of Commerce was launched on Thursday November 28th in the refurbished Willow Room at the Caberfeidh Hotel.

More than 30 people were involved in a largely informal evening with a buffet supper and plenty of opportunities to network and meet fellow business owners.

The event was introduced by John Moffat, a local accountant who is chairing the new Chamber, and who spoke of the benefits of getting local businesses together.

The Outer Hebrides Local Energy Hub (OHLEH) project has won the Partnership Scotland Award at this year’s VIBES – Scottish Environment Business Awards with partners The Scottish Salmon Company (SSC), Pure Energy Centre (PEC), Community Energy Scotland and Comhairle nan Eilean Siar (CnES).

The VIBES Partnership Scotland Award recognises organisations working together strategically to improve their contribution to sustainable development and the OHLEH project beat off stiff competition from five other shortlisted finalists. The OHLEH initiative focuses on the creation of a local circular energy economy and was funded by the Scottish Government Local Energy Challenge Fund.

By Rachel Mackenzie, Highlands and Islands Enterprise area manager in the Outer Hebrides

News that BiFab was awarded a new contract to produce 150 monopiles for the Moray East Offshore Windfarm development has been welcomed by Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE).

The announcement by Canadian company DF Barnes, the new owners of BiFab, confirms commitment in their efforts to bring work back to Arnish and has already created new jobs for 60 people and is set to create more. 

DF Barnes has considerable experience in manufacturing, machining and fabrication of complex offshore structures and systems across the world. The yard is in an excellent position to deliver part of this major contract and positions itself as a key player in the offshore wind supply chain.