Local people and businesses in the wider Newton industrial estate area in Stornoway got the chance in September see how Comhairle nan Eilean Siar and Highlands and Islands Enterprise are planning to work with D. R. Macleod Ltd to create infrastructure that will enable new facilities, buildings and roads.

Plans to show these proposed developments – entitled Newton Gateway – were hosted at D.R. Macleod’s offices on Island Road, Stornoway on Wednesday 25th September from 4pm to 6pm and attracted lots of attention from business all across the area.

Members of the public, businesses and any interested parties were encouraged to come along to see and discuss the plans for a vacant and derelict 5.5 acre site within the area.  The Council is looking for feedback on the proposals before any consideration is given to planning applications.  In addition, there is a hope that the derelict land involved will attract Scottish Government support for a scheme that brought it into productive use.

The site has been highlighted in the Scottish Land Commission’s Vacant and Derelict Land Survey Register. 

The aim is for this development to bring a disused site into purposeful use, providing new, modern commercial facilities for both new and existing businesses in the Western Isles.

The Comhairle’s Chairman of Sustainable Communities, Donald Crichton said earlier: “We are very encouraged to hear of the new plans for Phase 2 of Stornoway Regeneration. 

"Following on from existing works being carried out at Goat Island and the transformation of former mill buildings in Newton, these targeted interventions will create more jobs, infrastructure and visually improve the area.”

In an official statement before the event, D R Macleod, who will be the developer lead in the Newton Gateway project, said “Newton Gateway is a new development proposal intended as a key driver in the regeneration of the Newton area. 

“This development would bring a disused site into purposeful use, providing new, modern commercial facilities for both new and existing businesses in the Western Isles. We believe the proposed development would bring a vitally needed boost to the local economy and the surrounding area, encouraging new ventures and growth of existing businesses whilst providing a significant boost to employment.”

The new streets and properties could help address problems caused by shortage of parking space for personal and commercial vehicles and allow traffic to pass far more easily through the area by providing alternative routes to Sandwick Road, and later, to the waterfront at Newton.   It would also make available a whole range of commercial properties for the use of expanding existing businesses and new businesses alike.  Ultimately, this would enable new jobs and enterprises to develop.