The Open Day and official Opening Event for Stornoway Media Centre took place on Thursday November 1 with the ‘Church House’ building on James Street teeming with guests and visitors.

The building was open from 11am-7pm to show off the full range of design, printing and media operations. 

The centre brings together by SignPrint (http://www.sign-print.co.uk/) and Intermedia Services (Stornoway) Ltd, (www.intermediaservicesstornoway.co.uk), the publisher of EVENTS, HEB Magazine and other websites and magazines throughout the Outer Hebrides and the Isle of Skye.

Introduced by April Graham, special projects organiser for Intermedia Services (Stornoway) Ltd, there was a formal opening by Dolly Macleod whose late husband ‘ND’ Macleod created the business which formerly occupied this iconic Stornoway building.  Dolly cut a commemorative cake, made to mark the occasion by Joan Macleod of Artizan Café in Church Street.  Dolly commented on the excellent quality of the restoration work on the building and added that she was so pleased to see it in use again. 

Laura Maciver, manager of Sign Print Ltd, then spoke of their work. She explained how the company had been set up in 2014 in Rigs Road and now employed two full-time graphic designers, both local people.  That was the key to the work of Sign Print – a local provider of graphic design and printing which could even provide interior design for homes and offices.

Then Chris Corden, non-executive director of Intermedia Services (Stornoway) Ltd and formerly of Callanish Ltd and Scottish Enterprise, looked at changes in communication for the Islands and the world since 1987 when he first arrived on the Islands.  That was long before the Internet started to have any impact, long before mobile phones started to be widespread.  Now there were moves to make phones even more capable – even incorporating projectors.  Now there were hundreds of Island holiday providers not only advertising globally but taking payments on-line as well.  And there were future changes in storage for data – using DNA data storage, needed to replace the silicon memory chips as silicon becomes scarcer, it would be possible to store every feature film ever made on something the size of a sugar cube and keep it for 10,000 years.

Then Fred Silver, islands-based editor and journalist since 1991, and founder of Intermedia Services (Stornoway) Ltd, looked at the growing opportunities for taking islands media and print-based products back into local control.  Speaking of the Stornoway Media Centre, he said: “This is a unique Island venture, it’s people working here, run from here, providing facilities for people from here, where you can walk into this building and get adverts designed, you can get things printed, you can get business cards, you get a story on on-line or in print, even including developing your website and interior designing your house.”  The venture brings all these facilities back to a town centre location enabling people to just walk in off the street to access this range of island-based services.

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After the official event was over, there was a chance to see the opportunities offered by the new centre and it remained open into the evening for people who wished to visit and see the displays.